Whitney Rel

Massage THerapy/CrossFit/life

How Do You Want to Feel?

Love this! “Every big change starts with a small shift in perspective”.  Time to change your mindset! 

We all need to be reminded of this from time to time! Trust yourself today!

We all need to be reminded of this from time to time! Trust yourself today!

Stop and Listen

With all the noise we encounter throughout our day, we, as a culture, struggle to really listen to each other.  From busy schedules, to social media, and access to all kinds of information, we are all  overloaded with information, most of it useless.  It seems that everyone is bursting at the seams to share information, stories, and causes to anyone that will listen.  And with that, even in our face to face encounters we stop listening to each other and instead we fight to be heard.  People are becoming more and more numb to the fact that they are talking over others and forgetting to really listen.  But, two things start to happen when you talk over people.  1. It makes the person who was sharing something with you feel as if you don’t care what they have to say and that they are less important than you.  2 It turns you into a jabber mouth that no one wants to listen to. And people actually get annoyed every time you open your mouth because you’ve given the impression that you just want to be the center of every conversation.  Don’t be this person! Take the time to stop and listen to others.  Make your conversations personal and intentional.  You might be surprised at the deep relationships you could build if you would stop competing for center stage of every conversation you have. 

Essential Oils


One day, probably after I retire, I’m hoping I can just roam around in Lavender fields like this!  Definitely my happy place! 

Now to the topic at hand! I’ve recently started using therapeutic grade essential oils in my personal life, and after a little more testing and experimenting, I plan on bringing my knowledge into my massage therapy practice!  If you are unfamiliar with essential oils, I urge you to do your research! It’s amazing what these oils are capable of!  I’ve been testing out a few different oils for certain ailments and so far have had great results!  I’ve been using Young Living’s Essential Oils.  There are a few other brands out there that are “therapeutic grade”, but from my research, Young living has been around the longest.  You can find more info about them here: Young Living.   I’ve used oils recently for things such as everyday stress, mood enhancers, muscle/joint pain, stomach ulcers, indigestion, and adrenal support.  Between myself and my husband we have a few things that bother us, and so far, oils have helped with all of the things mentioned above!  I will say, that I am a big believer in quality when talking about oils.  Buying oils off the shelf at your local Grocery Store (no matter how organic/fresh/top quality they claim to be) is just not the same as buying from a reputable “Therapeutic Grade” distributor! 

Here are a few of my favorite oils that I’ve been using A Lot lately!  

Lavender- Known for it’s relaxing and calming fragrance, I use this in a diffuser at night to promote a serene environment for sleep.  I also just recently had a pretty bad bought with a few cold sores. I used lavender, because of its antiseptic properties, on these blisters to expedite the healing process

Grapefruit- I just recently got this oil in the mail, but have been using the heck out of it everyday.  I wear it like a perfume on my wrists and behind my ears because it is refreshing and uplifting! 

Peppermint- It seems like I’ve been using this oil most of all.  I used it on my cold sores as well as the lavender, because peppermint is an antibacterial.  It’s also great for digestive issues, so by ingesting this oil along with a little lemon oil, it has really done a lot to help anytime my stomach is upset.  I’ve also used this oil anytime I feel a headache coming on.  Peppermint is incredibly purifying and stimulating to the mind so it’s also just a nice fragrance to inhale.  

PanAway- This is a blended oil that is primarily used to reduce pain and inflammation, increase circulation, and accelerate healing in muscles.  Between CrossFit and Massage Therapy my muscles can get pretty beat up.  PanAway has been a life saver, and helps my muscles to feel rejuvenated and recovered after a long day!   

There are many other oils I have used, but wanted to point out a few that I seem to be using the most.  As I accumulate more oils I will post more of my findings :) Until then, try a few essential oils and let me know what you think! 

Such a great time at the #BombCityBattle this weekend @crossfit806! Got to #RockTape some great athletes! Fantastic job to everyone who competed!!!

I am asked quite frequently about trigger points.  This video is a great introduction about what a trigger point is and the pain response that is happening in the body.  This is why I stress to my clients the importance of mobility work on yourself as well as massage therapy.  As athletes, we aggravate trigger points more frequently and at a much higher rate than others.  Massage therapy is so beneficial when we aggravate these areas on our body because a therapist will usually work longer on one area and in turn get deeper into the muscle to relieve these points of pain.  

Check out this video and let me know what you think! 

Decoration Day

Yesterday I had the honor, as I do every year, to participate in a workout to commemorate those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy everyday.  Our gym, CrossFit 806, hosts “Memorial Day Murph” each year and I am proud to not only participate, but to be there for those who want to show their gratitude by experiencing this particular workout.  If you are not familiar with the workout, Murph consists of 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats, and 1 mile run.  It is named after Lt. Michael P. Murphy, United States Navy (Seal).  You can read more about Lt. Murphy and the fantastic fundraiser that our gym supports every year. 

But I think the main point I wanted to focus on is that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance.  Although some just know it as a “Happy” holiday and an extended weekend away from work, those of us who have military ties experience the day a little differently.  Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers.  Those who have experienced the loss of a loved one in battle spend the day in remembrance.  I think it’s important to remember what Memorial Day is really about, and to honor in someway the soldiers we’ve lost.  I choose to do a workout, you might choose to put flags or flowers on graves.  Either way, showing respect and honor for those who have given everything to protect the freedoms we hold dear is important.  And never forget the families and friends of the soldiers we have lost.  Memorial Day doesn’t get any easier for them. God Bless our military and their families. 

Great way to start the morning! If you haven’t tried @cuppacraftcoffeeco yet then I highly suggest you do!  Thanks @rossjones for the introduction! #cuppacraft #texas

Great way to start the morning! If you haven’t tried @cuppacraftcoffeeco yet then I highly suggest you do! Thanks @rossjones for the introduction! #cuppacraft #texas

"My wrists hurt"

So this is a common phrase that I hear a lot from CrossFit athletes, especially when you are newer to the sport.  We perform a lot of different movements that put strain on the wrists.  Since there are too many movements and correctional advice to put all in one blog post (especially since I don’t like writing books and I know people don’t have time to read through all that) I will just say that as far as the movements go, talk to your coach first and make sure that your form is correct on the specific movement that is causing the most discomfort.  If after the movement has been corrected and adjustments have been made to best accommodate you, your wrists still hurt, then you might need to invest in a pair of wrist wraps!  Wrist wraps are not meant to be used all the time, but they are a great way to support the wrist for movements that put excessive strain on the join.  Wrist pain often times indicates that the muscles in and around the wrists need to be strengthened, but wrist wraps are a great tool to use in order to avoid injury while we are working on our wrist strength.  

So, wrist wraps, this is what I really wanted to talk about!  I had a nasty sprain to my right wrist a few years back which caused me to research and invest in many different types of wraps before I found what worked for me.  So, in light of today’s WOD @CrossFit806, which contains handstand work and thrusters, I wanted to share my favorite wraps and what has helped me through the past few years!  

The first successful wrap I found was just a basic elastic type wrap that looped once around my wrists and velcroed to secure it.  These are probably some of the most affordable wraps and you can get a great pair from Rogue Fitness if you follow this link: Rogue Wraps  These are great starter wraps, but the velcro will not last forever.  I burned through my first pair within about 3-4 months.  So after doing a little more research I came across a brand of cloth wraps that I decided to try.  I started with Atlas Wraps because I saw a friend use them.  They were great and I still have my pair that I bought about 2 years ago! They are easy maintenance ( just wash in the laundry and hang to dry), and they don’t seem to ever really wear out!  I love my Atlas Power Wraps, but then I wanted something functional and empowering.   When I came across Strength Wraps I had to have the Super Power wraps because it had all my favorite superheroes on them.  Even though my main motivation in buying these was that Thor, Ironman, and Captain America were depicted on the wraps (I’m a nerd, don’t judge me), I was pleasantly surprised by the thickness and quality of Strength Wraps.  They are a little bit wider than my previous Atlas Wraps which makes me feel more supported. There are countless number of places to purchase the cloth style wrist wraps (people are even selling them on etsy!!) but I like to stick to some of the brands I know work best!  The next question is, “how do I put these dang things on?”  Welp here’s a little tutorial from Jason Khalipa (Ladies, you’re welcome) :  How to

Finally, for recovery, I use a basic wrist sleeve.  You can find these on Amazon.  Mine are a little bit different, but I couldn’t find an exact version.  These are great if you experience pain for the next day or two after your workouts.  I wear mine when I’m around the house and when I sleep.  It gently supports and compresses the joint to keep it in an uncompromised position while it’s recovering. 

So there ya have it.  Get a pair of wrist wraps, choose a pattern that speaks to you, and go lift something heavy!