What types of complementary therapies have you tried or use on a regular basis (e.g. acupuncture, massage, ART, yoga, rolling, stretching)?  When and how often do you use them?

------------------- ART if injured 3 times p/week and if not at least 2 times p/month for maintenance. [Diane Camet, 41, San Diego, CA] Yoga Yoga Yoga, I love yoga!! Even if I can’t make it to a class, I try to do a small series that incorporates both stretching and strengthening every night. With my weak knees and tight IT bands, this is extremely important. I will also use my roller stick and foam roller to continue stretching out. Also, once or twice a week I try to do some kind of strength training, particular during the off season. Finally, to just remember it is off season and rest if the best policy! [Liz Baugher, 23, College Station, TX] I have had my best seasons when I got a weekly maintenance massage. It is expensive depending on where you live but its priceless in terms of your longevity in training and in the sport of triathlon. A massage aids in the breaking up of excess scar tissue, relaxing and softening overused muscles, increasing joint mobility, and reducing cramping. Scar tissue hinders the ability of the muscle to fully absorb/produce force and causing a bio-electrical disturbance that hinders you from using that force rapidly over and over to the best of your ability. With scar tissue build up, primary muscles have to rely on the surrounding areas to compensate for the now weak muscles and this is where injury occurs. Massage Therapy can increase recovery by 80% and allows muscles to do the job they were intended to do. Aside from alleviating scar tissue build up, a massage therapist can teach the athletes how to fully relax the muscle. A sore or weak muscle will tighten when pressure is applied but the athletes can to send to the signal area to relax the muscle in order to receive the benefit of the massage. This creates new muscle synapses teaching your body what areas to relax and what areas to engage, which can aid in efficiency during performance.  [Bill Vann, 22, Ft. Lauderdale, FL] I get a sports massage once a week to help get rid of the lactic acid and knots during a 20-30 hour training week. Also I do rolling everyday to minimize the knots and some foot problems. Stretching is done everyday as well, because with my swimming backround I can’t touch my toes so we are working on that twice a day [Casey Bateman, 22, Santa Maria, CA] [caption id="attachment_1262" align="alignright" width="192" caption="Cortney's wired up"][/caption] I work with a chiropractor and acupuncturist on a fairly regular basis to address misalignments and any burgeoning soft tissue issues. I have a great deep-tissue massage therapist who shows no mercy but produces results. I finish every day with my Trigger Point roller and stretching which also results in great relaxation and a good night’s sleep! [Cortney Martin, 44, Blacksburg, VA] I use and have used regularly: deep tissue massage, ART, yoga/pilates, foam rolling, lacross ball trigger point release, PNF stretching, chiropractic, Epsom salt baths, and a glass of red wine with some chocolate to keep my mind and body in balance and free of injury. [Laura Bergmann, 29, Ranson, WV] I use a foam roller for ten minutes about 3 to 4 times a week. I also use a tennis ball against a wall to work on the back of my shoulder as a form of self ART. When I’m home my wife regularly gives me a massage and on Sundays I do the Athlete's Guide to Yoga DVD that I got from Endurance Films. The Base Period program is 57 minutes. Ironically, I am usually totally unmotivated to do it, but every time I do it I feel 1000% better and am glad I did. It really opens up my hips and "unwinds" me. And I get crabby when I don't do it...LOL. [Siphiwe Baleka, 40, Muncie, IN] I pretty much stretch after every workout, and roll as often as I can stand it.  ART is great when I have an injury or I am just a little tight but I fortunately haven't had to use it in awhile.  I also have problem occasionally popping in to a yoga or Pilates class.  In season I like to try and get a massage at least once a month, but it doesn't always happen. [Nick Logan, 30, Norwalk, CT]

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