How will you benefit from Sports Massage?

How will you benefit from Sports Massage?

Since many athletes are now beginning to notice the many benefits of massage therapy, more and more athletic massage therapists are becoming available. In fact, they can be found in the locker rooms of almost any professional sports event for just that very reason.

Sports massage is a form of massage typically used before, during and after sporting events. It is effective for releasing muscle tension and restoring balance to the muscular-skeletal system. Benefits include:

  • Improving circulation and lymphatic flow
  • Assisting in the removal of metabolic waste
  • Improving muscle flexibility, range and freedom of joint movement
  • Reducing stress and tension in the body’s soft tissues
  • Relaxing tired and aching muscles
  • Breaking down scar tissue
  • Improving posture and general body awareness
  • Assisting in mental preparation for sporting participation

For most athletes, enjoying less muscle stiffness and improving relaxation and well-being is reason enough to enjoy regular massage. But as research continues to grow on the real physical benefits of massage, more and more athletes will be taking advantage of this ‘feel-good’ training method.

Recently, researchers at McMaster University reported that deep massage after an intense workout actually causes muscles to enlarge and grow new mitochondria. Mitochondira, the powerhouses of our cells, are responsible for converting nutrients into useful energy.

For this study, the researchers had men to exercise to exhaustion on stationary bicycles. After the workout, the men had a Swedish-style deep-tissue massage on one leg for 10 minutes. Muscle biopsies were taken from one quadriceps muscle before and after the workout, and from both muscles immediately after a 10 minute massage of one leg, and again two and a half hours later. The deep-tissue massage increased the size and number of new mitochondria more than exercising without massage. Increasing mitochondria can improve endurance performance by increasing the rate that muscles can utilize oxygen.

The pressure of massage may also improve blood flow during the massage and increase muscle temperature. Massage reduces heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels. Most people report a feeling of pure relaxation, reduced anxiety, and improved mood as a result. Athletes may indeed find an edge in these psychological benefits.

By having a deep tissue massage at least once per week, athletes can keep their muscles healthy, improve their flexibility, maintain relaxation and have a better sleep cycle. Contact Ivy King, RMT today for your consultation.

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