Massage therapy has long been used as a means of relaxation and stress relief. However, in recent years, the medical community has begun to take sports massage therapy more seriously as a means of treating ailments, both mental and physical. A growing body of research has shown that massage can be an effective treatment for everything from chronic pain to anxiety (Plews-Ogan et al., 2005).
One area in which the benefits of massage therapy are beginning to be taken seriously is in the realm of sport and exercise. For years, massage was considered a luxury for athletes, something that might help them relax but did not have any real impact on their performance or recovery. However, new studies are beginning to show that massage can actually have a significant impact on athletes. It’s knowns to help performance and recovery from injuries.
The Benefits of Sports Massage Explained
There are a number of ways in which massage can benefit athletes. First, massage can improve circulation, which is important for delivering oxygen and nutrients to muscles. Second, massage can help to reduce inflammation and swelling, which can speed up the healing process after an injury. Third, massage can help to release tension in muscles, which can prevent injuries and improve performance. Finally, massage can boost the immune system, which can help the body to fight off infection and illness.
Athletes are not the only ones who can benefit from massage; anyone who participates in a regular exercise program can also reap the rewards. Massage can improve circulation and flexibility, two important factors in overall fitness and health. In addition, massage can help to relieve pain caused by exercise or other activities. And like athletes, people who exercise regularly are also at risk for injuries; massage can help to prevent these injuries by keeping muscles loose and relaxed.
How Often Should I Get a Sports Massage?
When it comes to reaping the benefits of massage therapy, consistency is key. A massage here and there is nice, but won’t give you the same benefits as a regular massage program. Like exercise itself, the benefits of sports massage are cumulative, meaning the more regularly you receive a massage, the more you’ll reap their advantages.
Think of it as preventative maintenance. That being said, know that the benefits are often short-lived and part of the reason why it works best as a cumulative action. Massage therapists recommend scheduling “once a week if possible or every other week.”
Post-event or post-race sports massages are a great way to help your body recover from strenuous exercise. Wait 3-5 days after the event or race before getting a massage, in order to allow any lingering soreness to dissipate. However, the lighter, spa-type of post-race massages are different – they are meant to encourage blood flow and help you relax, and can be taken advantage of as soon as the day after the event.
How Can I Take Full Advantage of My Massage Program?
First, it’s important to find a qualified massage therapist. Look for someone who is experienced in working with athletes and has a good understanding of the stresses that come with training. Find someone you feel comfortable with, as this will help you relax and get the most out of your session.
The convenience, professionalism and attention to detail that PEAKiropractic brings to the table is unmatched. Patients are quick to refer their family and friends because of the quality of work we deliver. On a Google review, Jonathan Berger said “I have also had a couple massages from them and they rival any spa in Dallas in terms of quality. Do yourself a favor and call them.”
Once you’ve found a qualified therapist, it’s important to communicate your goals for the massage. Be specific about what you’re hoping to achieve, whether it’s improved recovery, reduced pain, or increased range of motion. This will help your therapist tailor the session to your needs.
It’s also important to drink plenty of water before and after your sports massage. Massage can help release toxins from your muscles, so it’s important to flush them out by drinking plenty of water. Aim for half an ounce of water per pound of body weight.
Finally, be sure to listen to your body and take it easy after your sports massage. While an athletic massage can be beneficial, it’s also important not to overdo it. Too much massage can lead to soreness or even injury. This is why its a good idea to follow up with your chiropractor that will lead you in the right direction as far as frequency. Read our previous post about how sports chiropractic benefits athletes.
Wrapping Things Up
There are many benefits to incorporating massages into your routine, both for athletes and non-athletes alike. Massages can help improve circulation, range of motion, and flexibility. It can also help to reduce pain and recovery time from injuries. They also promote relaxation and can help reduce stress levels. Whether you are looking to improve your performance or recover faster, massages can be an excellent addition to your routine.
This blog post was brought to you by Peakiropractic servicing the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. We offer a variety of massage services, including deep tissue massage, sports massage, and Swedish massage. Check out our house call services page for more information.
Plews-Ogan, M., Owens, J.E., Goodman, M. et al. Brief report: A pilot study evaluating mindfulness-based stress reduction and massage for the management of chronic pain. J GEN INTERN MED 20, 1136–1138 (2005).