Juan Reque: Sports-injury massage therapy to the stars ... and you!

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT:

If massage therapist Juan Reque wanted to be a name-dropper, you could hardly blame him. His professional tennis clients alone include the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, for whom he worked five years as personal trainer and therapist.

But happily for athletes of the non-famous variety in San Diego County, Reque is practicing his blend of deep tissue, ART (Active Release Techniques) and Thimblex massage (a technique created by Reque himself that involves thimbles) with just as much skill and dedication to healing.

After four years with an office in Solana Beach, Reque has relocated his Injury Recovery Massage practice to Del Mar. The location may have changed, but Reque, who has 21 years' experience as a massage therapist and is also a licensed physical therapist and strength-and-conditioning coach, hasn't changed his mind about what works best for sports injuries.

"I've seen all the methods, all the lasers, all the ultrasound and new machines," said Reque, "and I feel like nothing is more effective than massage. It's been around for thousands of years. In terms of preventing injuries and treating chronic injuries, it's one of the most effective techniques out there. I know it's effective because of the results I get."

Reque explains the relationship between sports-injury massage and healing this way: "Basically, you allow the body to heal with a massage by releasing tension, removing some scar tissue and increasing the blood flow."

At Injury Recovery Massage, Reque treats only sports injuries. Most of his clients need attention for injuries to or chronic problems with shoulders, elbows and lower backs. This is not the sort of relaxation massage you get in a salon. "My massages are a little deeper," said Reque.

The 45-minute sessions entail a combination of Reque's preferred massage therapies, including ART. The latter is a treatment that on his website (juanreque.com) he touts as "the gold standard of soft tissue treatment for sports injuries."

Typically his clients purchase a package of five sessions. "After these five sessions," Reque said, "either they're healed and they don't come back until they're injured again, or they come in once every two or three weeks as maintenance."

While many of Reque's clients have been tennis players both professional and of the weekend variety, he's also found himself treating baseball players as well. In the four years he's been practicing sports-injury massage therapy in San Diego County, Reque has treated, he estimates, more than 500 people all together.

Don't expect aromatic oils and New Age music and trilling fountains when you visit Injury Recovery Massage. What you can expect is healing, from someone who knows how to provide it.

Injury Recovery Massage, 445 Marine View Ave. Suite 308, Del Mar. Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sundays. (844) 469-0704. juanreque.com

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