Maychell is not a common name in Belgium. This Aruban came down to beautiful Hoeilaart a few months ago where a nice balance was struck between work and leisure and, above all, discovering our beautiful Belgium. We thought it was time to sit down with this special man with a passion for taking care of athletes, especially non-athletes 😉 .
You haven't always been a massage expert. Tell us about where you come from and what led you to make the switch to massage therapist?
Yes I did. From the age of 17, I was employed by the Aruba Police Force. After a year working in the street service, I was hired in the robbery team and then in the Organised Crime Section. Since then, my career with the Criminal Investigation Department began. In 2001, my wife and I moved to the Netherlands where I joined the Addiction Service. In the process, I followed a higher vocational education study. In 2006, we moved to Portugal. A year later, we returned to Aruba. There I resumed working as a detective and specialised in vice investigations. At the time, my daughter swam with the Barracudas Synchronised Swimming team and later with a competitive swimming team 'Giants'. Together with another 'athlete mother', we started training as sports massage therapists to help our children with their sports careers. I found the training fascinating and quickly learnt the basic techniques of massage and anatomy. My interest quickly grew in the sports world where I took several online courses to gain knowledge. A year and a half later, I managed to complete the complete training and had worked several volunteers to get more experience. During Covid, people's interest in doing sports increased. I then started giving sports massages to athletes behind my garden under a tree 'in open air'. a year later, I discovered other techniques including scrapping therapy, pressotherapy, heat/cryotherapy, deep stretching and cupping therapy. I saw athletes make great strides in their sports whether running, swimming or triathlon. More and more different athletes came to me because the word travelled very quickly. They felt better prepared and 'recovery' went faster. Their injuries were treated faster and they could continue their sports training and competitions without pain. At the time, I had the fastest runner in Aruba as a sponsor athlete. He started breaking all records after undergoing my treatment. In the process, I also had the best triathlete who also started breaking Aruban records. My treatments then quickly became known among all athletes in Aruba. National selection teams asked for my help. among others, Aruba swimming selection team, women's football national team, beach tennis, Golf, MMA, UCF, karate and athletes who went abroad to compete e.g. ultramarathon, marathons and ironman. I was the therapist of a team that swam from Bonaire to Curaçao in the open sea. In the process, I was also therapist to 48 swimmers of a swim team called Giants.
Why is massage good? For what reasons should people make an appointment with you.
Sports massage is a massage aimed at stimulating blood flow to the muscles. With a sports massage, you ensure that waste products in your muscles are removed faster. As a result, you promote the recovery of your muscles and body. Sports massage is also used preventively to prevent injuries. If you suffer from an injury, a sports massage ensures faster recovery. The connective tissue is loosened and knots are removed from your muscles. After the treatment, the feeling of pain is reduced somewhat to nil. You can also use sports massage to activate your muscles. For example, at the beginning of a training programme or if you haven't done anything for a while. Athletes doing high-impact sports e.g. footballers, runners, crossfit, contact sports definitely need treatments. athletes doing long-term sports e.g. triathletes, cyclists, marathoners and swimmers definitely need weekly treatments.
There are different techniques. Can you explain a bit more about them. What are the typical massages you offer to certain people.
Depends. I personally believe in 'maintenance'. This means that if you are serious in your sport, for example, that you get massages often. Not just treatment through massages but as a therapist, I can better maintain your muscles. If the muscles feel 'loaded', heavy, tired and you feel cramps and acid in your muscles, the weekly treatment ensures that you don't even feel this. I feel the muscles during the treatment so during the analysis what kind of treatment is best for the athlete/client. I use soft tissue or deep tissue massage, combined with stretching exercises. During treatment, I usually use heat therapy to loosen or soften the muscle tissue so that I can do my job better with petrissage. When 'recovering', for instance after a marathon, I use cryotherapy. I massage with a cold iron rod, a cold iron ball and cold towels to reduce inflammation. To achieve good deep tissue, for example, the muscles have to be ready for this. This takes time but when the goal is achieved, you benefit from better and healthy muscles and mobility improves. During my career, I had experienced several problems. Sciatica, piriformis, plantaris solis, 'swimmers shoulders' and so on and have been able to treat them. My combinations are not complex. An example. Runners knees is a very well-known one. For this, I use 'sports taping' and cryotherapy.
Which massages do you give the most and which do you prefer?
To be honest. Most of my loyal clients were usually persons suffering from stress. neck pain or 'upper back or lower back'. These clients came for deep tissue massage at least twice a week. They not only suffered from pain but they had problems sleeping or sitting while working. Stress pain was becoming chronic. After getting treatments for several months, they got a better life and could sleep better and longer without pain. So my answer is deep tissue massage. This is a difficult technique. But after spending hundreds of hours on this, I have mastered this technique well. I advise not to seek this just like that or from just anyone this treatment without having much but a lot of experience in this. I myself got inflammation and developed a fever for a week after getting deep tissue at a masseur. Deep tissue massage is my most desired and requested massage. to give an example of an hour treatment, I can give the following step-by-step plan: intake, muscle analysis, omie aromatherapy, effleurages, deep tissue, massage gun, madero therapy, hot towel, petrissage, deep stretching, cupping therapy and then scrapping therapy.
What makes you a good massage therapist?
I think it has to do with 'the touch', the feel of the muscles. Every person is different. but muscles are muscles. I immersed myself a lot in the anatomy of muscles and learnt different defects. In Aruba, this was my side business. I worked from 6 to 10 in the evening and got around 7-8 clients a day. On a Saturday, I got around 10 clients. Clients sat in waiting rooms and before a match, cars lined up in front of my house. I recognise a muscle where a scar has tissue and work on this immediately to a solution. Clients felt I helped them faster and were happy with my service. Muscles that felt heavy or stiff or suffered from cramps were treated immediately. I also think that as a therapist you also delve more into the types of sports. Which muscles are used the most during their sport. For example, baseball players usually have an imbalance in their muscles. Given they usually use one side of their body the most to throw or catch the ball. They suffer more from their shoulders and ankles while a runner usually has problems with his quads or hamstrings. The difference is in how he runs and what kind of shoes he uses. Also, I took online courses of micro- and macronutrients and sports nutrition. I felt it was important to have a chat with an athlete who wanted to feel better but that not just resting, stretching and getting a massage was enough but that nutrition was also important. Delving deeper set me apart from other therapists.
When are you bookable in Healthcube?
I am bookable on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Maychell is a trained, certified and experienced sports massage therapist at Healthcube1. He is highly skilled in improving physical fitness, combating adverse effects of sports, or making them felt as little as possible to improve the sports performance of athletes including elite athletes1. He offers different types of massages, including deep tissue, deep stretching, cupping, heat/cryo, scrapping and aromatherapy1. These massage therapies improve flexibility, mobility and blood circulation1.