Sports Massage – Perform At Your Best!

sports M leg

Sports Massage Therapy can help you train harder, perform better, and recover faster!

Sports Massage enhances athletic performance, whether you’re a weekend warrior or training for the Olympics.

Sports Massage increases muscle flexibility and blood circulation. Sports Massage decreases muscle pain and stiffness. Sports Massage helps you perform at your best!

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, research shows that Sports Massage can:

  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Help athletes monitor muscle tone
  • Promote relaxation
  • Increase range of motion
  • Decrease muscle stiffness and soreness after exercise
  • Enhance athletic performance
  • Help prevent injuries when massage is received regularly

If you run marathons I’m sure you have seen the massage tents set up near the finish line.

Massage done after the race focuses on relaxing the muscles, decreasing spasms and improving blood flow.

These short massage sessions help runners recover faster from the event. In the tents ice packs and cold water are also provided. Swollen areas need to iced for 15 minutes to decrease inflammation.

Athletes need to drink plenty of water to rehydrate the body after the event, and also after the massage. This is because massage causes the muscles let go of their waste products and these need to be flushed out of the body. Drinking water helps to lessen soreness the next day.

Should you get a massage the day after the marathon? That depends.

If you have swollen areas you should wait until the swelling goes down, usually 24 to 72 hours.

What you can do is follow the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

  • Rest the injured area, no workouts today!
  • Place ice on it for 15 minutes at a time
  • Wrap it with an ace bandage for extra support, not too tight, not too loose
  • Elevate the area to encourage fluid drainage

If you have only one or two areas swollen, you could still get a massage, but the therapist will avoid pressing on those areas. Instead drainage techniques will be used to help the swelling go down.

The massage post-event will focus on relaxing the muscles and decreasing spasms and soreness.

Deep tissue massage can be very helpful to athletes, in between events.

Trigger Points (sore spots) can be worked out, allowing the muscles to relax and recover.

When practicing Trigger Point Therapy the massage therapist will press on certain areas of the muscle (Trigger Points) to release tension and improve circulation inside the muscle. It can be uncomfortable, but only for a short time, then the relief is felt immediately.

The main goals of post-event Sports Massage are pain relief and restoration of full muscle function.

When the muscles can fully move without pain the athlete can reach his or her full potential during activity, whether it’s training or the event.

Researchers at McMaster University conducted a study and discovered that just 10 minutes of deep massage after an intense workout causes muscles to grow more mitochondria, which are the parts of the muscle cell that transform nutrients into energy.

“Given that mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with muscle atrophy and other processes such as insulin resistance, any therapy that can improve mitochondrial function may be beneficial,” according to Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky of the Michael G. Degroote School of Medicine.

Researchers also discovered that post-event massage reduces swelling.

“As a non-drug therapy, massage holds the potential to help not just bone-weary athletes but those with inflammation-related chronic conditions, such as arthritis or muscular dystrophy,” says Justin Crane at McMaster University.

Sports Massage can also be performed before competition.

This type of massage is done with the athlete clothed, and is of shorter duration, usually 15 to 30 minutes. The focus is to warm and stretch the muscles to help prevent injury and improve performance. The massage therapist will use techniques such as kneading, rocking and stretching.

I remember working at a Track & Field event. I did a pre-event Sports Massage on a runner. He ended up winning his race, and told me that he had his best time ever.

Needless to say, he came back for a post-event massage too.

Massage and exercise have both been shown to improve mood by boosting feel-good hormone levels (dopamine and serotonin) and reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Massage and exercise naturally complement each other.

Isn’t it time you added Sports Massage to your training regimen?

Call Woodstown Massage Boutique to book a Sports Massage and perform at your best!

Bill Martin

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