My name is Dianna Gould, a massage therapist at Hills Neuroscience Integrative Psychology. Outside of my work, I am also an avid open-water swimmer. After completing quite the feat last weekend, I am thrilled to share my experience of swimming the La Jolla Cove to the pier and back to the cove again. What helped me work my way up to this 4.4-mile swim? I incorporated breathwork, bodywork, and a strong support system into my swimming training. At Hills, we do not just encourage a healthy mind and active lifestyle; we live it!
Breathwork doesn’t just help with the first shock of cold water, but it also helps clear the mind of negativity, confusion, and racing thoughts. There are many forms of breathwork, and the best way to explain it is as an interactive meditation. In these days of COVID- 19, I recommend breathwork to everyone and anyone wanting to strengthen your lungs and calm your mind. I currently practice the Wim Hoff method and love that Mr. Hoff has a beginner and intermediate guide for free on YouTube. Give it a try, and I hope you experience the excellent results I had.
As a massage therapist, it is no wonder that I use bodywork for my swimming goals. I was able to receive bodywork both before and after my big swim. You do not have to be injured or even have soreness for bodywork as it can also enhance peak performance. One massage therapist from Hills Neuroscience, Jana, helped prepare my body for this swim and helped to restore my body after my achievement. Deep tissue massage before the swim helped immensely with my range of motion and the length in which I could be in the water. My post-swim treatment was just as beneficial, if not more so. After the big swim, seeing some clients, and attending a Thai massage class, my trapezius and rhomboids felt as though they were swelling out of my shoulders. Another round of deep tissue and I immediately felt my chest open, back relax, and my body became ready for the next adventure.
My support system sealed the deal. During the initial COVID-19 shutdown, I’m blessed with more open water swimmers and grateful to not be alone in the ocean anymore. I now swim with a team of anywhere from 4 to 15 swimmers, and our pier swim included 8 of us. When reaching the pier, I felt defeated. Arms heavy, cold, and ready to swim to shore halfway through the swim, two of my teammates said, “Let’s just head back, let’s go. We got this!” and that’s just what we did. My team was the most beautiful safety net and support system for when I was about to give up.
Hills Neuroscience Integrative Psychology offers several different types of massage to meet your specific goals and needs. As some of you may be thinking already, utilizing breathwork, bodywork, and your support system are necessary for many other aspects of life. The Hills team is here to help you thrive, not just survive!
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