The Greeks said, “The Athlete that does not use massage is the common man” and this holds true for the athletes of today as well. If you look at professional sports and their top athletes, you’ll often find that massage is a part of their training program.
It is important to distinguish the difference between the traditional massage that people are accustomed to and Shiatsu massage. These are often confused and yet are very different techniques. The traditional massage is more for relaxing and certainly has its place. However it can’t compare to the performance enhancement of what Shiatsu does. After a traditional massage people are often so relaxed that they can’t do much of anything as opposed to Shiatsu massage where you feel empowered. This is because the whole principle of Shiatsu massage is much different and much more dynamic. It uses the body’s own energy, known as primordial force or, Chi. Shiatsu massage takes away limitations. In some cases it is more effective than acupuncture.
Over the years I have helped many professional athletes with Shiatsu massage. In the horse world, I work on NRCHA Hall of Fame inductee, AQHA and NRCHA World Champion, Sandy Collier. I also work on her horses. By working on Sandy, I am able to help ensure that she is flexible and at the peak of her performance on show day.
I have also helped many other human athletes who compete at the highest levels. Bob Wieland is the world-famous double-amputee, who walked across America using his arms. Bob also raced in marathons and had raced in both Los Angeles and New York the year before he became a patient of mine.
The following year, I went with Bob to the New York Marathon and via the use of Shiatsu massage, we were able to knock 17 hours off his race time from the previous year (when arms are in use instead of legs, marathon times generally run around 100 hours). Then, during the Los Angeles Marathon, Bob pulled a front deltoid muscle at mile marker 5. I took him aside, worked on him and rested him for 45 minutes and then off he and I went toward the finish line. I worked on him continuously during the 26.2 miles and despite pulling a front deltoid muscle early in the race; he was able to beat his time from the year before by 18 hours.
What does this have to do with Jockeys? Everything. Horse racing is the ultimate combination of two very-finely tuned athletes, the horse and the jockey. Often both are competing with underlying soreness related to muscle stress or previous injury. Shiatsu massage, prior to the race for both athletes can make a huge difference. After a Shaitsu massage session, Jockeys can expect the following:
When an athlete uses Shiatsu massage as a part of their training and competing regimen, they feel like they own the world – and they do.
Therefore, it is undoubtedly the best combination to have both athletes, the racehorse and the jockey worked on prior to a race. Both will be winning more often and after all – isn’t that what horse racing is all about?