In the United States, massage therapy is generally considered a luxury. But the truth is, massage can be used for much more than just relaxation, its health benefits are numerous. Massage therapy can relieve pain, increase energy, improve sleep, encourage healthy digestion and more.
One area where massage therapy is extremely beneficial is in the sports arenas around the world. In every sport, there is inevitably someone who gets injured. Massages can be a great tool for taking care of sport-related injuries, while helping to prevent future injuries. More and more professional athletes are utilizing massage therapy to stay healthy and improve their performance. Trainers and athletes alike, believe regular massage therapy can provide a competitive edge when it comes to sports.
Regular physical exercise improves flexibility, increases muscle strength, endurance and cardiac efficiency, and improves respiratory function. As the body adapts to the demands of physical activity, conditioning takes place. It is recommended massage be incorporated into the training of almost all professional athletes. By incorporating regular massage sessions into the conditioning/training phase, the athlete can avoid injury. This is because massage therapy returns the muscles to their relaxed state.
Massage for sports injuries is commonly used to treat sprains and strains. But can be very helpful in releasing pesky knots that develop when intense training is taking place. These knots are known as trigger points and are tender to even the slightest touch. Having trigger points massaged can relax the muscles and surrounding tissues, which allow athletes to train without issues.
The pressure provided by massage improves blood flow and warms the muscles, and breaks down adhesions that may have formed which can impede the muscles ability to properly perform. Another way massage helps with sports injuries is by flushing out toxins and excess fluid in the joints. All of these actions allow for quicker healing and improved overall function.
Different sports injuries require different forms of massage. For example, a hamstring injury can heal quickly when massage is used to loosen up tightness and break up any scar tissue that might be forming. Back and neck spasms may require deep tissue massage or very light Swedish massage techniques. Deep tissue massage helps to flush out lactic acid buildup in the muscles, thus allowing oxygenated blood to flow in and heal the area. While Swedish massage works more on joint movement and realignment.
Injuries that involve broken bones are frequently accompanied by stiffness and lack of mobility. All forms of massage can reduce stiffness and increase flexibility, when used properly, massage allows athletes to focus on healthy healing instead of anxiety and pain.
Getting injured is the fear of every athlete. But by incorporating regular massage sessions into the training regimen, fear can be greatly reduced. If you are an athlete or even a weekend warrior who ends up feeling pain or experiencing some sort of injury, massage could be right for you, ask me to find out more!