Magical hands

Athletics

Magical hands

Massage therapist to sporting stars Keniel Brown relishing new path

BY HOWARD WALKER
Observer senior reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, June 25, 2020

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The name Keniel Brown might not ring the proverbial bell at first, but the former Edwin Allen High football star is once again leading from the front as a top sports massage therapist in the island.

Brown, who captained his daCosta Cup team in 2012, gained a football scholarship to GC Foster College where he earned a degree in sports massage therapy.

His dream as a professional footballer might not have materialised, but in the meantime he is helping others turn their dreams into reality.

In May, the Adam and Eve Day Spa opened its doors at its all-new sprawling wellness campus at 56 Old Hope Road in St Andrew. The 10,000-square-foot facility will feature a rainforest room, a spa, and salon, as well as training spaces, representing the company's largest expansion to date.

Brown, whose reputation has grown significantly working with Jamaica's elite athletes, was contracted.

“It's a great feeling to know that I am a part of the Adam and Eve family, and with all my experience and expertise in the massage field, I will definitely put it to great use by bettering myself and help Adam and Eve get the reputation as the only spa in Jamaica to offer sports massage and also the spa with the best sports massage services in Jamaica,” Brown told the Jamaica Observer.

“I have been privileged enough to be able to work with some of the best sporting figures, [for example] Asafa Powell, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Julian Forte, Christopher Gayle, Shericka Jackson, Ronald Levy, Nesta Carter, Kevona Davis, Tina and Tia Clayton, and O'Dayne Richards,” he pointed out.

Many persons assume that's sports massage is only for professionals, but the aim is really to alleviate the stress and tension that builds up in the body during physical activities, it is said.

Whether you're an athlete, a once-a-week jogger or just physically active, a sports massage helps drain away fatigue, reduce muscle tension, promote flexibility and overall prepare you for peak performance. It is said to also help prevent those trivial injuries that get in the way of performance.

The in-demand Brown's has travelled with several Jamaican teams, and the last was the 2019 World Championships contingent to Doha, Qatar. Prior to that, he worked at several Diamond League events as Jamaica's elite athletes strut their stuff.

“At a championship, the primary goal of a massage therapist is to ensure the athlete is ready physically to take on the demands of competition. By doing so, the therapist will ensure the athlete warms up and cools down properly,” said Brown.

He continued: “[And to] ensure the athlete gets their regular massage, like twice weekly. Ensure the athlete gets the active release to loosen up the muscle before competition and also do joint mobility to ensure each muscle group and joint is in optimal condition to go and execute their respective events.”

The most satisfying feeling, as Brown tells it, is to see one of his clients perform well knowing the amount of work he has put in.

“It's such a humbling feeling when one of my athletes goes on to win. I remember while at the World Championships and Shelly won the gold in the 100m, tears literally came to my eyes,” said Brown.


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