In some way or another, all of my clients are athletes, and all athletes need massage. Whether you’re training for your next 10k race or you’ve just started a Zumba class to lose weight, you are an athlete. If you want to maintain an active lifestyle, massage therapy is going to be essential to keep up with your regimen. Here’s what massage can do for you:
Massage Heals Muscles
There have been a slew of studies that have shown the effects of massage therapy and how it helps heal muscles after a workout. Massage reduces inflammatory compounds (called cytokines) which helps to relieve pain. Massage was also shown to stimulate the cells on a sub-cellular level, increasing the amount of energy the cell produced to repair and regenerate! This means that massage can actually help you get back to training sooner and improve your performance.
Massage Improves Mobility
Much like Yoga and stretching, massage therapy can greatly improve your range of motion. The reason behind this is that massage often incorporates passive stretching into its modalities, which can be used to release tightness in the muscles. It also acts as a form of myofascial release (a form of body work that involves releasing the connective tissue around muscles). Keeping your muscles loose can actually help prevent injury.
Massage Reduces Swelling
If you’re unfortunate enough to experience an injury, massage therapy (particularly gentle, lymphatic drainage techniques) can help move the fluid that builds up around sprained joints and strained muscles. Athletes with injuries need massage therapy in order to heal faster (as mentioned above) and get back into the game.
It doesn’t matter what amount of activity you see, all athletes need massage therapy in order to maintain their active lifestyles and heal from injuries.