Myotherapy at Intercare

Friday, 6 March 2009  |  Therapy + Injury

Thank God for thoughtful friends.  Concerned about my injured state, Kim, our 2nd mommy during the Singapore Marathon last year who is currently training for the Bataan Death March Ultramarathon, called yesterday to offer some wise advise: Get a deep massage…regularly.  Her doctor advised her to get a massage after EVERY run and she swears that were it not for this one-hour indulgence she would’ve been sidelined by tight leg muscles by now.

I followed 2nd mommy’s advice.  In a little over two hours (I move fast, don’t I?), I was already lying on the massage table of Intercare Center, awaiting my very first Myotherapy session. 

Myotherapy, according to the Intercare website, aims to isolate specific problem areas and fixes it, something that your typical massage therapist is not trained to do. Myotherapy is a muscle treatment and relaxation therapy that results in the reduction of tension; with the direct effect of releasing muscle spasms, improving circulation and bringing about proper functions and a healthy tone to ailing muscles.

I was excited.  I thought this could be the answer to finally popping those stubborn nodules that weren’t hit by dry needling.  At the same time, I was nervous and apprehensive.  Thoughts of me screaming in pain, collapsing, or fainting floated about in my head.  I shut my eyes and repeated the mantra, no pain, no gain.  Then, to add to the anxiety, my therapist enters the room and he is…a man!  I had never been massaged by a guy before!  Clad in a robe with only my underwear underneath, I lay on that massage table, closed my eyes again to repeat a new mantra:  Bahala na!

The therapist first asked me to lie on my stomach while he placed heavy heating pads on my back for around 10 minutes.  I felt like I was melting; I actually fell asleep here.  

He re-entered the room to begin the deep massage session.  He used slow, steady strokes, as if he was squeezing all the tightness out of my body.  He started on the right leg and found nodules in my calves and hamstrings.  What?  That wasn’t even my injured leg yet.  As he tried to pop those bubbles, he asked me if it was painful.  He said I could scream if I wished, as others have done in the past due to the pain.  Surprisingly, the pain was manageable for me.  I learned that taking deep breaths as he pressed on a nodule helped to ease the discomfort.

Now for the exciting part.  He started massaging the left injured leg.  He found nodules almost everywhere: calves, hamstrings, ITB, hip, and up to the back.  I pointed out some lumps on my ITB and asked if he could pop those nodules too.  He pokes at them and says “Oh they’re not nodules ma’am.  They’re just fat deposits.”  Great.  I believe that was the one time I wish I had nodules instead.

He went on to massage my back and shoulders which were all, as expected, very very tight.  I end the session in exactly one hour, completely relaxed and satisfied.  

By the time I got home, the kneecap pain which bothered me for two full weeks (even at rest) was completely gone.  GONE!  Not even a hint!  I woke up this morning and cheered as I realized that it wasn’t a dream.  The leg is still completely pain free as I write this.  I could do cartwheels right now but I run the risk of tightening my ITB again, plus being laughed at by the baristas here at Starbucks, so maybe I’ll do a little happy dance in a week or so.

The Myotherapy session at Intercare is P1,100 a session.  Pricey, if I may say so, but truly worth it.  I have promised myself a massage session (not necessarily at Intercare unless I win the lotto) every other day until Condura race.


MAKATI – Intercare Bldg.,
8420 Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City.

Tel Nos: 890-3378 – 79           
Fax: 890-2547
Mobile: 0922-811-3651, 0920-953-2309

ALABANG – Unit D, Upper GF, Westgate Tower, Investment Drive, Madrigal Business Park, Alabang, Muntinlupa
Tel Nos: 807-6863    
Mobile: 0922-811-3649, 0917-866-4156

GREENHILLS – 26A Eisenhower Street 
Greenhills, San Juan. 

Tel Nos: 724-6631

Telefax: 722-1846
Mobile: 0922-811-3650, 0917-859-9479

Big big thank you to Kim!  You didn’t have to call, but you did.  And, it made such a big difference!

TBR 2×6 Recovery Program

Wednesday, 11 February 2009  |  Therapy + Injury

It seems to be working!  My homemade training recipe to rid me of Runner’s Knee and ITB problems is finally showing positive results. Maybe Jun is right, I should start calling myself Dr. Bull Runner due to my extensive experience with injuries.

Last month, I created the “TBR 2 x 6 Recovery Program” which goes like this:

MON:  Spin 1hr + Weights (Upper body)
TUES: Swim, min 1km
WED: Run, min 5km + Weights (Lower body) + Hatha Yoga (PM)
THUR: Spin, 1hr + Weights (Upper body)
FRI: Swim, min 1km 
SAT: Bike out + Weights (Lower body)
SUN: Run, min 5km + Bikram Yoga (PM)
* Plus: sports massage twice in a week

Why 2 x 6? Because it’s twice per week for each of the six activities: run, swim, bike (this is actually thrice), yoga, weights and my favorite, massage! There’s a REST DAY that pops up in there every week depending on my sched with work and the kids. But, for the most part, I’ve stuck with the program the past month as best as I can.

To be honest with you, I don’t know what I was thinking when I created this program. It’s almost like a serious triathlete’s training program, but without much of the distance and intensity as I don’t want to injure the few body parts I have that are functioning properly.

So far, it’s given me a lot of benefits, from keeping the injury blues at bay to strengthening all the other muscles that were never touched by running.  But, the biggest benefit so far is this: Running pain-free twice this week!  Yes, I think I’m finally on my way to full recovery!  Crossing my fingers!

Masahista from Heaven

Thursday, 5 February 2009  |  Therapy + Injury

She didn’t look like an angel when she arrived.  Clothed in the generic pristine, white uniforms of massage therapists, her outfit was perhaps the only thing angelic about her in my eyes.  She was a heavy, dark woman with boy’s cut hair, almost as big as Eddie Murphy in the movie Norbit…okay, maybe not that big.

This was the first time I had tried out this home service massage agency and, with one look at the masahista before me, I knew I hit the jackpot.  I asked her in the vernacular “So, can you give me a super super super strong massage, especially on my thighs?”  She nodded shyly, but even if she had said otherwise, I wouldn’t have believed her.  This girl was going to squeeze out all the tightness from my poor legs.

While other masahistas would give equal attention to every part of the body, this one took extra care of my legs.  Or, shall we say, she gave it some hard pounding and beating due to its misbehavior over the past few weeks.  Aaah, it was so painful but it was just what I needed.  All the while, as I lay in bed, I had my eyes shut tight in pain but I was thanking the high heavens for sending me a masahista who knew how to loosen up my tight muscles.  Yes, there is a God!


Tuesday, 3 February 2009  |  Therapy + Injury

I am going insane. Or, I think I’ve gone psycho already.

I realized a couple of days ago that, by February 7, it will be the 2nd anniversary of my knee injury.  Since Singapore Marathon, I’ve been able to run easy 5ks with manageable pain on the left knee, but I haven’t ran any of those feel-good, lung-busting, I-want-to-scream-because-I-am-so-happy runs that keeps all of us runner’s alive and wanting more.

Out of panic, I dialled my PT’s number yesterday and yelled these exact words in his ear: “I need your help!  It’s the 2nd month of my injury already and I don’t know what else to do!”  By the afternoon, I was in Moro Lorenzo, this time for a consult with my lifesaver Dr. Canlas and my two favorite PT’s by his side.  

With one look at the wicked knee and a brief exchange of words among the three of them, the good doctor said it was an ITB problem.  No drama from me; I kinda knew it due to the ITB tightness I felt for the past few days.  I endured the dreaded massage on my ITB, corrected my form on some drills, and learned more strength training exercises for my quads at the gym.  After that, I headed home unsure of how long it will take for my ITB to cooperate and just loosen up.  Aaaah!

So yes, TBR has an ITB problem.  Wish I could say WTF but that is so not me.  I’m more inclined to LOL with tears rolling down my cheeks.  OMG, I am really going insane!

Sick Leave

Tuesday, 20 January 2009  |  Therapy + Injury

Just when I thought I could start training again, I was struck by a slight fever, achy bones, and a tummy ache yesterday.  I spent the entire day in bed consumed by an overall feeling of blahness, thinking about 1) the near perfect weather for swimming, 2) missed gym visit that day, 3) downgrading my 15k Happy Run registration to a 5k (arggh, I hate the idea, but I think a sick, recently-injured runner like me has got to bite the bullet and accept her sad fate), and last but not the least, 4) how Rustom (or Bebe Gandanghari) was able to gain his/her new waif-like figure in three months time through Pilates!

Yes, I know, I had too much idle time on my hands yesterday.  Thanks to Tylenol, I’m feeling much better now.  Today is still rest/ recovery day.  Hopefully, I’m strong enough for a short run and yoga tomorrow.