Working out, sports and other athletics are a great way for you to exercise and stay healthy while also having fun! However, these activities also come with their own risks, like the big one, injuries. There are extreme types like broken bones and torn tendons or ligaments, but also we cant forget the less extreme, but fairly common type, overuse injuries. These types often result from too much athletic play. Overuse injuries are the main type of injury we are talking about today in the blog as well as we will be chatting about Pain Management and Injury Prevention! And today on this Wellness Wednesday, I have brought a very special guest to the blog today, her name is, Taylor Aller (Oomen)!
Let me introduce you to this fabulous woman!
Taylor Aller (Oomen) is a passionate, caring, and driven woman who is expanding her positive impact on the world daily. She resides happily in the Lower Mainland, BC where she currently practices as an RMT.
Along with being a Teaching Assistant at West Coast College of Massage Therapy, Taylor has extended her reach into other areas of work and volunteerism via writing and public speaking and as a Facilitator with Free To Be Talks. Writing for publications and The Relationship Project alongside hosting events, speaking at workshops, schools, and various groups, she definitely keeps busy and is loving it.
She is enthusiastically attracted to giving back, empowering and inspiring others. Taylor is all about leading a well-balanced life. Between her rewarding career, competing internationally as a Hip Hop Dancer, dabbling in photography, giving back to the community, travel, finding time to relax, be a yogi and
read a good book—Taylor strives to enjoy all that life has to offer.
She says, “I am all about living the best life I can, you only get one!”
So without further ado, lets get to the interview!
B: Hi Taylor! Thank you for joining me for this Wellness Wednesday feature on Overuse Injuries and Massage for Pain Management and Injury Prevention! I am eager to hear all of your knowledge on this topic! But first Id love to hear a little about your journey as an RMT!
T: Thank YOU for having me! I’m excited to chat about this with you!
B: So, how long have you been an RMT and what inspired you to get into this field of practice?
T: I’ve been an RMT for 3 years and, to be honest, I kind of stumbled upon this career. I went to school to become a kindergarten teacher, and when I moved to BC from AB, everything changed. My life turned upside down and a new career path was definitely needed. Being an athlete all my life, I’ve had my fair share of injuries, and I’ve always been an anatomy nerd, so when I was tossing around ideas--massage therapist kept coming up. I thought, “What the heck, I might as well try it.” And I fell in love with it. Even after just the intro course, it was all I could talk about. After completing my years of education, and now well into practice, I still love it!
B: What do you love about being an RMT?
T: Great question. I have a top 3. Number one, hands down, is helping others. It’s a core value of mine to contribute in this world and if I can help someone on their journey of rehab, injury prevention, or maintenance of health, it lights me up. Health is so important to me and when I get to be a part of someone’s health team--it’s an incredible feeling. Number two, I love the human body and moving around all day, sitting behind a desk would be my nightmare. Number three, how diverse this profession is! I could never get bored. Every patient I treat is different, teaching at the college, speaking and writing, there’s so much going on, and I love that.
B: Awe that is amazing. It is definitely a wonderful thing to work in a field that fulfills you like that! Throughout your experience what would you say is a common muscle issue you see in your day to day?
T: You know, it’s different everyday, but overall there’s a lot of imbalances. We tend to look at our bodies in segments, limbs, sides, sections--and truthfully, our body is one entire organism. It functions as an entire unit. When we’re so locally focused, we can miss big picture issues, chronic injuries, and concerns. When we’re too closed in, we lose sight of our whole anatomy, and that is likely to cause imbalances. From spinal, postural, functional, compensatory...it’s really endless that way.
B: That is so true, I know I tend to compartmentalize my body that way sometimes for sure! You were a dancer for most of your life, so that being said, knowing what you know now, what would you say your education as an RMT has taught you in regards to injury prevention for athletes?
T: Wow--SO much. Becoming an RMT has made me a better, and smarter, athlete. There’s much to be said about learning proprioception (where your body is in space) and muscle kinetic functions to improve efficiency and decrease injury, but it’s mostly taught me a lot about the recovery process that our bodies need in order to grow, repair and rebuild.
B: Amazing! So great that you have developed such body awareness through your education! Do you have any tips for people who want to do all they can do avoid injuries amidst their rigorous active lifestyles? (Such as gym-goers, sports players and fellow dancers.)
T: Absolutely! First thing: get to know your body. Develop a recovery routine and stick with it. Everyone’s body is different and going to need different things, but finding what works for you and being consistent with it, is number one. The second tip, my golden rule, ice baths. Or, if you’re not superhuman cause ice can suck, cold showers or immersions will do just fine. Post training or workout, utilizing cold can cut inflammatory periods down, reduce muscle soreness, and speed up recovery time. It’s been crucial in my athletics.
B: AGH! I have a love/hate relationship with ice baths! LOL. I definitely love the effect, but holy it is a shock to try to get through! So on the topic of post training, what would you recommend is best for pre and post workout/sport activity? Do you have any preferred stretches or methods for muscle safety?
T: According to research, that really varies on the sport. For pre workout/sport activities most research points to activity expected done at a less intense level. If you’re a runner, warming up with a jog. If you’re a soccer player, warming up with jogging, leg swings, and lateral movement. Does that make sense?
B: Yes it absolutely does! I definitely am one to do a dynamic activity related warm up and it has made so much difference!
T: As for post workout/sport, it’s like I mentioned above, finding your routine and sticking with it. That can be cooling down with the same activity done in warm up (less intense expected activity) stretching and range of motion exercises, self massage like foam rolling, and then the golden tip--cold shower. My only cautions are with self massage and rolling--be gentle with your body. Be able to answer these questions to stay safe: What structures are you rolling? Why are you rolling them? How are you rolling them?
B: Oh most definitely. I love a good foam roll but you are very right that you need to know the right processes to be safe and effective. So lets get into our main injury topic, Overuse Injuries. Overuse injuries are something I see most of and deal with most in the fitness industry, can you speak to this topic a little further and tips on prevention?
T: Definitely. Overuse injuries are inflammatory in nature, and generally caused by repetitive movements, imbalances or insufficient rest periods. Our muscles and joints need time to repair and rebuild and usually we need variation in movement and overall strengthening. In order to prevent overuse injuries, it’s essentially taking that approach. Trying your best to vary your workouts and movements, focus on your body as a whole and not just segments. And most importantly, rest periods.
B: Rest days are the best days! I always stress the importance of this with my clients! So you would say that rest is just as important and working hard?
T: Absolutely! It’s tempting, as athletes, to constantly push the training limits and to leave it all on the floor. We need to be that thorough with our rest as well. That involves adequate cool downs, post activity care, and inflammation management. (Cold immersions work well here too, sweet friends!)
B: Ice baths for EVERYONE!! So, scary question, should an injury occur *knocks on wood* what would be your recommendations for aftercare of a muscle injury?
T: This depends on the severity of the injury. My first suggestion? Go get it checked out by your healthcare team. Often athletes are afraid of being told to rest, not to play, or sit out--I get that. But, your health is not to be played with. It’s always better to get something looked at, to prevent further injury, than ignore it and cause permanent damage. The second suggestions: seek treatment. If we’re talking about general muscle injuries, soft tissue therapies will most likely be helpful like massage, acupuncture, etc. This will also be helpful as they can guide you in returning to play safely. General things to do at home for acute injuries would be following the RICE principle, (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) and pain free movement will be generally beneficial as well. But I want to stress again, get it checked out and then your healthcare team can set you up with an individual safe return to play protocol.
B: That’s wonderful advice and information. In regards to massage therapy, what kinds of benefits can Massage have on the body/muscles that you think people should be aware of that they may not know?
T: Oh boy, the list here is almost endless. I think most populations underestimate how many of our body’s systems massage therapy incorporates. From musculoskeletal, to neurological, circulatory, respiratory, and even digestive. This kind of treatment can be immensely effective and helpful not only in injury rehab and maintenance of health but in preventative treatment as well. I want to increase awareness on the growing research around the effectiveness of massage therapy and evidence based practice. Now, there’s even growing research on how massage can affect our minds and mental health positively, too. I think that massage therapy has always been an instinctive thing, but now that we’re growing the scientific evidence on its efficacy as a medical treatment intervention, it’s definitely not to be underestimated. Massage therapists have a thorough education on our body’s anatomy, physiology, and pathology, and the techniques we’re trained in can have a deep impact on our entire body as a whole. If you’re wondering if massage therapy can help with something, the answer is probably yes. I want people to know that massage therapy isn’t a treatment to overlook, or simply a relaxation experience, but it’s a medically effective and evidence based treatment approach to many, many conditions, injuries, and concerns.
B: Wow, that is amazing! I definitely didn’t think about massage in all of those ways! Thank you for sharing that information with us! You have most definitely opened my eyes to the benefits of Massage Therapy as well as given great tips and information on Pain Management and Injury Prevention!
Thank you so much Taylor for taking part in this interview, it has been wonderful talking to you on this topic and getting to learn more about you and your field of practice! I know this is going to be an extremely helpful resource for not only the community, but myself as well! I look forward to having you on the Fit, Fun & Fearless blog again soon!
T: Thank you for having me! If you’ve got any other questions, just let me know! I look forward to collaborating with you again in the future!
B: If you want to learn more from Taylor, be sure to check out another article Taylor took part on called “3 Things You Should Know About Chronic Pain” with the Make It Reign Campaign! Also be sure to check out Taylors various social media and website including her passion project that she founded with her Husband, The Relationship Project. You can find all links to those resources and pages below!