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Tuesday, July 08th, 2008

The last three months have been incredibly hectic for me.

I accepted a new job with a startup company near San Francisco at the beginning of April. Two weeks later, I headed west, leaving Colorado behind with only the following possessions in the back of my Toyota Matrix: 3 bicycles, 3 pairs of running shoes, one suitcase full of clothes – and my Human Touch massage chair I wish I had a photo of it – it was impressive that I could fit it all in. However, the chair packed down quite nicely and could be carried easily by two people (in this instance, by my friend Lauren and me).

I still do not have permanent residence, so my massage chair has been temporarily residing in Oakland with my friend donWolf, who suffers from a painful back disease called Spondylitis. The Human Touch chair has been offering him quite a bit of relief from debilitating spasms related to this condition The spasms can often be most painful at night, so he is able to use the chair not only to dial in specific massage to address these spasms, but to also offer him the ability to use the recline mode to find the optimum sleep position when he is having a lot of symptoms.

On my side of things, I’ve been using the massage chair a lot to help recover from some of the races I’ve competed in during the last several weeks, as well as to help relax from the combined stress of moving to a new city and starting a fairly hectic job.

My adventure racing team competed in three events during the last three months. The most notable of these was a grueling 500 mile adventure race in Montana called Primal Quest, which involved 9 days of trekking, biking, paddling and climbing over mountainous terrain. The majority of the race was on foot, involving very little sleep. The last time I competed in such a race, I developed a very painful IT band inflammation which really slowed down progress. I am happy to report that I did not suffer any tendonitis during the race, which I can partially attribute to a steady regimen of massage leading up to the race.

Now, I am just recovering from Primal Quest, trying to be easy on my body and let it completely heal from the rigors of that race. I will be switching gears in my training, to allow me to start gearing up for some of my solo races – a hundred mile foot race in August, as well as Ironman Hawaii in October. I will still be doing adventure racing with my team, though, but nothing as intense as Primal Quest.

I’m throwing a lot at my system on all levels: athletically, emotionally, and mentally. I do not think I would be able to face up to all of these challenges without a good action plan for recovery. My Human Touch massage chair certainly factors into this.

Iona MacKenzie 

A manufacturing engineer by trade, turned triathlete and adventure race competitor, Iona Mackenzie has built a reputation as one of the toughest competitors on the circuit. She has been dubbed the “Queen of the Machine,” for her machine like ability to overcome physical pain during races.

“Our bodies are the vessels which house our souls, hearts and minds. They are here for us to live through, not just to hang clothes on. Play hard, work solid, eat well – and REST. For me, that’s the quickest recipe to happiness.”

- Iona MacKenzie