Get A Ph.D. in Results!

Written by Roger White on . Posted in Blog

I listened intently to every word. It was 8 a.m. sitting in a classroom with five other medical professionals, two chiropractors, one naturopath, one other massage therapist, plus myself. I decided to take a course to polish my assessment skills.  In his Spanish accent, the instructor began his talk about excellence. You see, the course typically has 15-20 enrolled. Although the course was smaller than normal, he discussed how the size of the class wouldn’t impact his teaching. He would still give the same effort to use six as he would to 20, or 50.

photo (4)

My notes from this course. “Have a Ph.D. in results”

Famous for using his white board markers, he grabbed the one, and scribbled on the board these five things: accuracy, clarity, 100% focus, commitment, and motivation. These things were his explanation as to why he gets the results he has.

“When you master these things, you’ll have a Ph.D. in results. Be sure you have a Ph.D. in results,” he said

When we started the hands-on portion of the course that first day, his first words hit me hard. So hard they have kept ringing in my ears since. “Pay attention to the details. Keep your finger nails short. Always keep them trimmed. I have done this for years. It keeps my touch very delicate. If I get a little dust on my fingers, it aggravates me. See, my finger tips are so sensitive, little things like that bother me.”

BOOM! Something so simple, something I have admittedly overlooked time and time again. Not that I didn’t keep my nails trimmed, but besides the obvious reason to trim them to keep from scratching clients, but the enhanced sensations keeping them short would bring.

As the course went on, the theme was clear. Pay attention to the details. Be delicate in your touch.  Doing the simple things well.

We went over various assessment tools, methods and tests. Over and over he would say how much of his success was due to his ability to find things that so many overlook. Little things, things like finding the exact lines of tension within body segments. He taught us his technique for identifying precise lines of tensions, using one of our classmates.  A little motion palpation was done on this line for a few minutes and it was clear significant improvements were made, both to the tissues and to range of motion.

“Listen to their body with your hands. Be silent and still.   You’ll find the restrictions.“ In the middle of checking ankle movement, he approached me and in his Spanish accent,  “Listen with your hands. You won’t feel anything like doing it that.”

I made adjustments, trying to decipher what listening with my hands meant.  Sure enough, I was able to detect the restriction much sooner than I initially felt.  Amazing!  Little things like that can make a big different to athletes.

So what can a massage therapist do to get a Ph.D. in results?  It can be summed up with a story from John Wooden.

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make the big things happen.” –John Wooden

The section in Wooden’s book titled “Details Create Success,” he described how the first meeting of the year, he discussed the simple things, often overlooked.  He made sure each player put on their socks correctly, avoided folds, wrinkles and creases, things that could leave players with blisters and hinder their performance. Wooden wrote, “I believe in the basics: attention to, and perfection of, tiny details that might commonly be overlooked. They may seem trivial, perhaps even laughable to those who don’t understand, but they aren’t….They are the difference between champions and near champions.”

Interview with Holley DeShaw

Written by Roger White on . Posted in Blog

Holley 1I have the incredible pleasure of catching up with a one of the top sports massage therapists, Holley DeShaw.  Holley is well known by the top athletes on the track circuit and travels the world to provide treatments. Holley has been a:

  • 2013 Nike Therapist working Pre Classic, USATF Nationals and IAAF World Championships
  • 2012 USATF London Olympics Medical Team member
  • 2011 USATF Medical Team Member for IAAF World Championships and Pan Am Games
  •  and so many more experiences to list!


Hi Holley! Thanks for taking time to answer a few questions.  It’s an honor to have the opportunity to ask you about some of the “life of a sports massage therapist” type questions.

You have worked with a few national teams, and also privately.  What makes a therapist sought out and what makes you different from all the other massage therapists out there?

I would have to say what makes a therapist or athlete medical support staff member sought out by athletes would be most importantly be the “quality” of their work.  It doesn’t matter how impressive your resume or fancy your webpage, if you are aiming for a career with athletes, your dedication to your craft and application of it has to match the world class level athlete you are working with.

As far as what makes me different from other therapists, I have to be honest and say I don’t compare myself, but I have had the opportunity in the past ten years to work along-side some incredibly talented therapists and medical practitioners and I always observe and aim to absorb some of their knowledge.

I believe in life when you find something you are truly passionate about doing and love not just like to do it, that is your calling.  That is step one in what will sets you apart in any profession.  Then your desire will always be for the very best in what you have to give!  The bar will always be set so high!  The drive to be the absolute best that YOU can be will make you want to study and work and perfect your craft, and then keep going!  I have a endless joy and energy that comes from this “profession.”  It is hard to call it a profession because in the countless moments in the past 11 years that I have seen athletes shine and clients achieve goals, it gives me such happiness that I consider this career more a gift!  I will never accept anything less than my very best with each and every athlete and client I work with!

I read you have had a vast background of experiences.  Who have been some of your therapy influences over time? 

I have had the opportunity to do rotations and continuing education at the Olympic training centers and have also always sought out the quote on quote best in our line of work as well as on medical teams to learn from and study with.  I have always thought that the more tools (massage techniques) in my toolbelt the better equipped I would be to handle whatever situation I had to address from a soft-tissue standpoint.  I truly love my profession and find I have a persistent hunger to always learn more!  I have studied pretty close to all techniques applicable in our profession but one of the wonderful things about our line of work is you can always keep learning!  Something I always strive to do.

In my 11 years I have had the opportunity to work along side the best of the best when it comes to the athletic world.  From athletes, coaches, agents, LMT’s,  MD’s, DC’s, CCSP’s, ATC’s, PT’s, Sports Company Representatives and Governing Body Officials.  I have learned from each and every one of them!  I have soaked in every aspect of the business and the knowledge that I could get.  I always try to stay humble to and respectful of those I have worked for and with.  All of these people are incredible sources to learn from!

In your experience, what are the biggest mistakes therapists make, and what might be wastes of time in therapy, especially when you are on the race circuit?

I think therapists need to be very in tune and listen carefully to what the athlete is asking for as far as treatment.  Your application should always be based on exactly how that athlete’s body is reacting to your application.  Make sure your technique and application of your work is in line with what the athlete wants and to also be very aware of how the techniques you are applying will affect the athlete not only in the following hours, but days.  Make sure you are giving purpose driven work, and not generic.

With all your massage work, what therapy techniques are most effective (which do you use most), and how do you measure effectiveness?  How has your therapy sessions evolved since you first began, or have they remained relatively the same? 

The effectiveness of the techniques I apply are always based on the specific athlete I am working with and the timing and results we are aiming for.  For example, I take into consideration the athlete’s sport, the biomechanics of the sport, the most probably injury potential in the sport and then I go in depth with the athlete.  I ask questions such as, how long have they been in their sport, what is their injury history, what is their training schedule, where are they in their training, when is their next game or race or event, how does their body react to soft-tissue work or stretching or taping applications.

This may sound like a lot, but to be honest this is just the beginning of how involved you should be when you are aiming to give the quality of work that will assist an athlete in reaching their peak performance potential.

I am also a CKTP and utilize kinesiotaping on a daily basis and have used all sorts of different applications in every sporting group i have worked with.  Normatecs are also a must in my line of work and I carry a set with me whenever I travel.

Normatec compression boots

You travel quite often around the country and in Europe.  When out on the road like this, how much time do you actually get to spend on each athlete?  Do you ever do multiple sessions daily?

It really depends if I am traveling for a company, a governing body, a specific group of athletes or even just for one athlete.  I have worked in all situations and have done everything from non-stop sessions with dozens of athletes day in and day out due to the number of athletes on the team. I have also traveled with smaller groups or even specific athletes and then all of our treatment times and applications are based on the timing of their race or game.

Do you do any assessments and or evaluations do you do prior to treatments, and how does this guide your treatment? (when athlete comes in for treatment, what do you do that determines the treatment plan?)

Absolutely! what we call the “intake'” process is key to deciding what your goals are for treatment. Again, going back to the questions such as where are they in their training cycle, when is their next race or game and I also incorporate physical testing or analysis which may include muscle testing, postural analysis, soft tissue palpation, ROM testing and other things like that.

Do the techniques you use in the session vary depending on when race day is?  How would your treatments be modified on the day of a race, and also post-race? 

In general the techniques you apply race day would be that of getting the athletes primary muscle groups warmed up and at the same time not taking any power out of them while facilitating maximum performance potential.  The longer you work with the athlete the more both you as the therapist and they as the athlete will know what types of applications are most conducive to their performance.  Post-race application should be focused on taking as much of the race off their body as possible, meaning facilitating blood and lymphatic flow and addressing any possible areas that they feel might have been affected during the race or game.

How were you selected for the USATF medical staff?

I was first selected by the USOC for a medical rotation in an Olympic Training Center. I was then selected by USATF and USACK.  Each team you are selected for you are evaluated by each and every staff member and athlete and have to attain a certain score to continue being placed.   I worked with both groups for two years and then committed fully to USATF, as my belief was that if I help in giving consistent and high quality work to the USATF athletes from 2008-2012 then in the Olympics I would have gained the trust and knowledge to help assist them to their best results.

If someone new were to be chosen for the team staff for the first time at a world championship event, what advice would you give to them?  What advice would you recommend for therapists doing so many hours of therapy daily? 

Be professional!  Give your best work each and every day, as the athletes are going out and giving their best.  You will work incredibly hard but the joy that comes from seeing the athletes you work with succeed is beyond anything else you may ever experience.

When you are on the road, where do your treatments take place?  When you work at these bigger meets and championship events, what determines if you treat athletes at the hotel or at the warm-up track?

This is a funny question for me!  You wouldn’t believe some of the spaces or places you will work in as a sports therapist, especially overseas!  Be prepared to work in any and all environments.  I have worked in the hottest, coldest, smallest and most unbelievable places! You just have to at least appear calm and comfortable in any space as your energy will be apparent to the athletes you are working with.  Working at hotels and warm up tracks may be based on something as simple as credentialing or how an organizing committee has an event set up.

You have a Hall of Fame client list, working with these athletes in championship events, how would you treat them between rounds, if at all?   You’ve worked with athletes in many events.  Do you find that athletes of different event groups have certain styles of treatment they prefer? Or does each athlete let you do what you do?

When an athlete is going through rounds, we typically have discussed ahead of time exactly what will happen if they in fact want anything between rounds.  Many times “time” is a major factor and as a therapist, you need to be very aware of the time you have to work with and work within it.  Also, it is very important to have respect in timing with their coaches, agents, call rooms or whatever else they need to do in that time. You also need to be prepared for the unexpected to come up, in essence be prepared and over prepared for anything!

This may sound like a silly question!  What might be some things you travel with that someone might not be expect?  For me, it’s nail clippers!  I have to keep my nails short at all times.

Yes, I have those too!  I have a full kit that I travel with that includes everything from all sorts of bandages, wraps, Prossage, Biofreeze, scissors, tape, pins for bibs to Epsom salts.  You name it, I will probably have it in my kit! I always error on the side of over-prepared!

When working with athletes, is there a common request you find?

I have been and am truly blessed to have formed some long standing working relationships with athletes, coaches, agents and companies so they do trust me in my application as I have a long track record at this point of always being in line with an athlete’s treatment goal.  The communication is always there and ultimately I have found we are on the same page.  I have not had an athlete request an application that I felt would be adverse to their performance.  With the level of athletes I work with at this point in my career, they are very well aware of how their body performs best.

Are there any events you will working in the next few months we might be able to find you at?

I have been incredibly blessed in my career path to have worked with so many different sporting groups and athletes.  Currently, I am mainly focused on my work with athletes in track and field, the NBA and NFL, so that is where most of my work will be throughout the rest of the year. I try to keep those interested of my work up to date via twitter.

Holley, thank you so much for your time and openness.  It’s been really interesting to hear the behind the scenes stories.  I know I see you on Twitter @Holley_Deshaw posting updates of your travels. You can check out her webpage here: and can also find her on LinkedIn.  I look forward to seeing where you travel to next!

Thank you so much, Roger!  It was a pleasure!

Low Level Laser Therapy in therapy and performance

Written by Roger White on . Posted in Blog


IMG_1475An increasingly popular trend in sports performance programs has been increased attention to recovery and regeneration methods. Sports performance training, such as weight lifting, conditioning, and plyometrics, are methods that can help individuals improve their sports performance, but at the same, may result in fatigue, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and a potential decrease in future performance if recovery is not complete before the next strenuous training session. Athletes who recovery quickly may begin to train at higher intensities compared to those who are not fully recovered. Additionally, new technology for sports performance has become increasingly popular as well.

One technological advancement within the past ten years has been the use of low level laser therapy (LLLT). LLLT was approved for use by the FDA in 2002. LLLT has been found in 2500 articles and shown positive results in 120 double blind studies. It has become increasing popular in physical therapy and chiropractic practices to treat pain, reduce inflammation, and other issues specific to those practices. It was not until recently that research has begun to show LLLT has the potential to increase human performance in healthy subjects.

Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (LASER) has been used for a variety of medical purposes since the 1960s. Low level laser therapy, also referred to as cold laser, or phototherapy, is a low powered laser that is not able to cut through skin, unlike many surgical lasers. Lasers that are surgical are able to provide enough heat to the tissues to increase temperature over 50 C. LLLT is typically infrared light with wavelengths of 632.5-904 nm with power ranging from 5mW to 25,000mW. Some devices may also include light emitting diodes (LEDs), which have a scatter effect of light, compared to a narrow beam seen from a laser. Devices also come with options of continuous or pulsed light. Pulsed light is more powerful and can penetrate deeper depths in the tissues. It is able to achieve greater light intensity extending deep into the tissue.

Mechanisms of LLLT

LLLT can have a local effect and a systemic effect on an individual. The benefits from a local treatment include increased cell metabolism and collagen synthesis in fibroblasts, increase in action potential of nerve cells, increased immune function, stimulation of DNA and RNA synthesis in the nucleus, increased formation of capillaries by release of growth factors, and increased leukocyte activity..

Systemic effects occur when cells products substances that spread and circulate in blood vessels and lymphatic system. Acupuncture points, trigger points, blood irradiation, lymph nodes, and nerve roots may all be stimulated in order to get systemic effects. LLLT is safe when used properly. Individuals known to have cancer, are pregnant, and are sensitive to light are recommended to not use LLLT. Unlike ultraviolent light which has been shown to cause mutations, LLLT uses infrared wavelengths and are considered safe.

The laser provides photon energy to penetrate the skin, where cellular photoreceptors, more specifically within mitochondria, accept the energy and lead to increased speed on cellular processes. It’s been demonstrated that LLLT influences cytochrome C oxidase in the electron transport chain. Cytochrome C oxidase is the terminal enzyme of the electron transport chain, and when stimulated, increases adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. ATP Is the main energy source of the cell, and an increase in its production would lead to enhanced cellular function.

During exercise, ROS is generated from contracting skeletal muscle, with nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide being the primary agents. The tissues have a well-developed system to regulate ROS and prevent potential harmful effects. Slow-twitch fibers have a higher concentration of these protective systems than fast twitch fibers. During the inflammatory response, ROS is produced by neutrophils to attack degenerated cells. This increase in ROS is one of the initial events in exercise induced muscle injury, often seen after intense exercise. Since the tissues may be damaged to some degree, these cells and tissues will need ATP to provide energy for the repair process.

When investigating muscle damage and fatigue, common blood markers include blood lactate, creatine kinase, and C reactive proteins (CRP). Blood lactate concentration is widely used to monitor performance and recovery, and it is also a surrogate marker of recovery after exercise. The CRP concentration is a very useful nonspecific biochemical marker of inflammation, measurement of which contributes importantly to (a) screening for organic disease, (b) monitoring of the response to treatment of inflammation and infection, and (c) detection of intercurrent infection in immunocompromised individuals, and in the few specific diseases characterized by modest or absent acute-phase responses.

With this background in place, research by Junior et al. in 2010 found that LLLT pre-exercise LLLT helped increased endurance for repeated elbow flexion against resistance and decreased post-exercise levels of blood lactate, creatine kinase, and C reactive protein. This study is helps provide insight that LLLT has potential to provide performance enhancement benefits from a recovery and workout perspective. Strength and conditioning coaches looking to reduce post exercise fatigue may want to include LLLT into their warm-up and preparations for workouts.


Immune System Modulation

It has been established that a chronic dose of intensive training can decrease immune function. At this point, individuals are likely to become sick and may be required to miss training to recover from such an illness. Using LLLT, athletes may be able to boost immune function. According to Tuner & Hode, blood irradiation using LLLT, also called photohemotherapy, has been used in Russia for many years. When the blood is irradiated, there is improvement in immune system, microcirculation, decrease in blood viscosity, increased oxygenation, normalization of homeostasis, and activation of the proliferation processes. This area of study is still relatively new in research circles, however, the current literature exists to show that laser therapy plays a role in activating and boosting the normal reaction of the immune system components.

From a sports performance perspective, this technique has many important applications. First, intense exercise has been shown to decrease immune function. Decreased immune function is an attribute of intensive training and will eventually lead to decreased performance and potentially illness. Following intensive exercise, the body may see elevated temperatures, cytokines, and stress-related hormones may lead to depression of the body’s immune defenses. Fighting this is important in order to maintain optimal performance.


Photohemotherapy Application

Immunomodulation through blood irradiation (applying laser to a highly vascular area of the body) is important during an athlete’s basic training period, also called general preparation phase. Further, immunomodulation may take place during later phases of training following the basic training phase. According to Potemkin’s protocols, athletes may receive treatment on the apex beat of the heart and on the cubital fossa for a course of 10 days and may be repeated later on in training. During the specialized training phase, additional areas may be treated and include the liver and spleen, which both play an important role in blood physiology. Protocols during strength training include treating specific muscles for short periods of time.

Another benefit from regular photohemotherapy is an increase in microcirculation. Microcirculation includes small blood vessels in the body consisting of the capillary network, the arterioles, and the venules. Microcirculation is responsible for regulation of blood flow in individual organs and for exchange between blood and tissue. Approximately 80% of the total pressure drop between the aorta and the vena cava occurs in these vessels.

An increase in microcirculation improves the body’s self-healing capacity due to increased blood flow to tissues. In a recent study, they found treating areas around the knee led to increased microcirculation. Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most important physiological regulators of the microcirculation, which activates vasodilatation via activation of cGMP-dependent pathway. Further, it appears blue wavelengths of light might have additional benefit when it comes to blood irradiation.

Blood viscosity, which is the resistance to blood flow, plays an important role in oxygen delivery to the cells. Increased viscosity leads to a decreased on oxygen delivery to the cells. Since LLLT has been shown to decrease viscosity, there would be an increase in oxygenation to the cells. Photohemotherapy would be used during general and intensive training periods.

Treatment Times

A common concern using LLLT is the recommended treatment times to achieve results. According to Potemkin’s recommendations using a 25,000 mW super pulsed laser with a 905 nm wavelength required treatment times of 1-2 minutes for most sites per athlete. Devices with smaller wavelengths and less power might require more time to achieve similar results. Additionally, many treatments can be done multiple times a day, as recommended in the table below.

Table: Applications of Low Level Laser Therapy on Sports Performance

 Before ExerciseDuring ExerciseAfter ExerciseOther
Muscle FatigueXX
Joint PainXX
ImmunomodulationAM & PM
Strength TrainingXXX



 For the strength and conditioning coach, there are many ways to implement laser therapy into a training program. The easiest and fastest protocol would be photohemotherapy administered prior to workout. The laser would be applied to the athlete’s cubital fossa, carotid artery region, or to the apex beat of the heart, all for a period of one to two minutes total treatment time. Ideally this would be done before a workout begins. In a team setting, laser treatment might be included as part of a warm-up station that allows all athletes to participate in a warm-up sequence while getting benefits of laser. Additional lasers would reduce the logistical issues associated with treatment. This treatment would be best suited during the general preparation phases of a yearly training plan.

Laser may also be applied during the strength training segments of workouts. Ideally, the athlete would laser the targeted muscles prior to the session. In larger group settings, applying laser during rest can help keep workout tempo quick, since a treatment time of about one minute is usually required. A three person group may rotate in a spot-lift-laser sequence. It has become increasingly popular for exercise routines to incorporate multiple sets per exercise. In exercises such as squats where multiple muscle groups are involved, the athlete may apply laser to the quadriceps on the first and second sets, the hamstrings on the third and fourth sets, and other areas such as lower back on any additional sets that may be required. In a program that requires only one set of an exercise, such as squats or deadlifts, the athlete can split the treatment time in half. Using this technique would appear to work well in programs that utilize a maximum strength phase that incorporates longer rest periods between sets, compared to shorter rests and lighter loads often seen in the general preparation phases. Since a maximum strength phase would have a limited number of lifts, each athlete would have the potential to utilize the rest time with laser treatments on various muscle groups.

In early 2014, Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar publically discussed the teams use of LLLT

IMG_1477During therapy sessions, LLLT can be used depending on the athletes status during the session. For example, a runner comes to see me with tightness in the hamstrings and a painful sensation in the Achilles region. I would use the laser for a few minutes on both inguinal regions aiming for the femoral artery and nerve, as they can be reached with larger wavelength lasers. This serves to increase blood flow in a major circulation “highway” that transports blood down through the entire lower leg. Depending on how large of an area, I would move the laser the impaired muscles. Often a trigger point can be done, or a larger scan of the entire muscle. For the Achilles, I would first treat the popliteal fossa, for the same reason we did the inguinal region. Then I would scan the Achilles on the sides, not directly on top of it. I would expect the Achilles pain decreased, if not eliminated following the session, and a sense of looseness in the muscle regions. There is a time delay as a result of the reactions that occur. I would then begin manual massage work as needed on the athlete.



LLLT shows tremendous potential as an innovative and effective recovery and performance enhancement option. As more research is done, LLLT will continue to show promising uses in sports performance. It’s short treatment times allow many athletes to receive treatment in a short time, which is so important in settings such as collegiate environments where time for training is limited based on time of year. Sports performance coaches should explore the possibility of incorporating LLLT into their training plans and joining efforts with their athletic training staff to ensure each athlete performs at their optimal level.

Recommended Reading

Phototherapy 101. Douglas Johnson (2007)

Ernesto Cesar Pinto Leal Junior et al. Effects of Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in the Development of Exercise-Induced Skeletal Muscle Fatigue and Changes in Biochemical Markers Related to Postexercise Recovery J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2010;40(8):524-532.

C-reactive protein: a critical update. Mark B. Pepys and Gideon M. Hirschfield  J. Clin. Invest. 111:1805–1812 (2003).

Low-Intensity Light Therapy: Exploring the Role of Redox Mechanisms Joseph Tafur, M.D. and Paul J. Mills, Ph.D. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery Volume 26, Number 4, 2008 Pp. 323–328

The Laser Therapy Handbook.  Jan Tuner & Lars Hode (2004)

Biomedical Support and Quantum Medicine of Top Achievement Sport. Leonid Potemkin (2001)

Lenz et al (2008) Blood viscosity modulates tissue perfusion. Transfus Altern Transfus Med 9(4) 265-272.

Behind the scenes interview: Terrel Hale, Sports Massage Therapist

Written by Roger White on . Posted in Blog

terrelatNBI had time to catch up with Terrel Hale, one of the top sports massage therapists, located in Washington D.C.  Terrel also has had the unique experience working some top events in the US.  He just returned from working the weekend at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Oregon and had time to answer a few of my questions.





Terrel, how long have you been involved in sports massage?  Do you have a sport of focus?

I have been practicing since 2004, when I went to the summer games in Athens as a volunteer sports massage therapist. I work mostly with runners and triathletes, but have tennis players and winter sports athletes like bobsled and skeleton. Mostly though, it is runners!

Since 2004, has your therapy techniques evolved? 

My work has evolved from my training at the Potomac Massage Training Institute, my study of gross anatomy and my training in both active isolated stretching and active release techniques. I combine all of these to form a holistic session and approach to recovery and injury prevention.

Would you say you have a philosophy for your treatments?

My philosophy in treatment is the integrated approach of mind and body that Plato believed in.  I started a PhD program in Mind Body Medicine with an emphasis on practice.  The program at Saybrook University in San Francisco espouses these same principles of integration I believe in and try to practice with the athletes I work with. I have started using the mental aspect of training with my clients that includes both motivation and imagery. I am currently writing a paper on elite performance and imagery.

What might a session with you be like for an athlete who comes to your clinic in DC

I use the same skill set and principles for ordinary weekend warriors as I do with the elites I’ve worked with or am working with. There is no difference. A good principle or technique is a good principle or technique!

You have been involved with many races across the country, including the Athens Olympics, Pre Classic, Cherry Blossom, and Boston Marathon to name a few.  How did you get involved in those events? 

Like a lot of things my own involvement with the races I go to comes from the ground up, from the people I know or have met. One thing leads to the next. In the world of sports massage at the races I work at most the therapists know each other. The bigger races like Boston have a place in their web page for massage volunteers.

How do you know which athletes you get to work with and how much time do you have with them?

Usually there is a point person to greet the athletes and point them to the available table. This is common at most of the bigger races like Iron Man

In your experience with runners, is there a common treatment request you get from them?

Most of the runners have issues with their hip flexors and tensor fascia latae and or gluteus medius. I worked on Joanie Bennet Samuelson at one Cherry Blossom race.  She had an issue with her gluteus medius and I used the ART protocol for that and she set a course record for her age group. After the race, I was able to locate ART providers in and around Portland, Maine for her.

Many athletes have limited therapy access due to funds, or other reasons.  In these big race events when you have limited time with the athlete, how do you handle situations where more work is needed on areas? Do you alter your treatment at all?

Usually there is limited time so I focus on what the runner asks me to work on.  I alter my treatment based on the runner’s need as any other therapist world. Most often the runner knows her or his body best.

At big events, are any post-race treatments provided? 

Usually there is post race or event massage offered for athletes.

I notice you have a twitter (@TerrelHale), Facebook, and a website (  Do you keep in touch with athletes after working with them? 

I have a social media presence.  The runner may choose to they stay in touch with me on either twitter or Facebook. Social media for me is a way for these runners to contact me and make appointments.

Terrel, thanks so much for your time.  It was great to hear about some behind the scenes info that is often not publicized.

For more information on Terrel, check him out on Facebook, Twitter @TerrelHale, and



Runners Massage Studio - 2013