If you follow any Games athletes on Instagram or Facebook, you'll come upon a term they use for a day of rest during the Open and beyond season as they get ready for competition. It's a day spent doing very low impact work, sometimes, and body work designed to help the athlete recover the best way in preparation for their next day, and week of training.

Sheila's day is pretty simple but important. First up was a massage, this time targeting her upper body. Her masseuse is also a CrossFitter. Know that the person working on you is familiar with what her body is accomplishing each day is beneficial. Next came up some pool time, which was SUPPOSED to be "floating", but that is a story for later this week. Then back home for lunch and some laundry and then back out to visit the chiropractor. I got to spend a bit of time visiting and learning from him about why his methods are important to an athletes recovery.

When the needles came out, I'll have to admit I was pretty excited to see what needling was about. I'm familiar with acupuncture, so I assumed that it was similar, but it's actually quite different. Dr. Armetta gave me a breakdown on what needling therapy is and why this therapy is essential.

"Dry needling therapy can offer results with greater efficacy versus many other soft tissue techniques. It is an invasive process which offers both local and systemic effects. Locally (at the site of tissue damage), it can provide a stimuli that activates the remodeling process, which includes reduction in tissue tension, normalizing inflammation and replacement of injured tissues with fresh tissues. Systemically, it helps restore homeostasis - or stability of the body's internal environment, despite changes in external conditions.

When tissue is damaged, it cannot function or lengthen properly. Athletes require proper tissue function to perform at their maximum potential. Stress on tissues can create both biomechanical - joint and posture imbalance and neurological dysfunction. Dry needling helps to reduce these stresses and assists in proper repair and remodeling of tissue. It's important for any athlete, but especially for athletes competing at the elite level. As the level of competition increases, so does the lengths these athletes are willing to pursue to stay ahead of their competitors. The majority of the elite level athletes are receiving some form of soft tissue therapy on a weekly basis and dry needling is extremely effective - it produces results."

Those of us who are just regular athletes underestimate the whole. We see parts of what these elite athletes do on a daily basis, but we don't see all of the working parts. There is so much WORK that goes into being able to train and maintain at this level. Just another simple reminder that it's really not for everybody...especially if you have an aversion to needles.