For years, massage has been used to help athletes relax, recover, and ultimately succeed in their chosen sport. With the rise in popularity of extreme fitness regimens and new athletic events, ranging from triathlons to high intensity interval training (HIIT) and mixed martial arts (MMA), getting a good massage can actually be beneficial for those engaging in them.
It does not matter if you are a professional athlete, training for a big event, or just plain sore from all of the incredible workouts you have been doing lately; a massage can relieve a lot more than just built up tension and pressure. It has recently been proven that giving the right massage after a hard workout can actually help repair muscles and grow new mitochondria, cells that are responsible for using nutrients to convert into energy. Before we get into all of the benefits, let us look at what exactly would be a good sports massage.
What Exactly is a Sports Massage?
Simply put, it is massage therapy specifically designed for athletes. The massage type focuses on treating the soft tissue pains and aches associated with intense physical activity. There are many different techniques used by massage therapists for certain sports injuries or pain, but most of them have a few of the same goals in common: relieve pain, promote relaxation, and help recovery.
An example of a common massage for athletes is deep tissue massage, as it is developed for muscle realignment. Rather than a usual up-tempo massage spread out on several areas, this one focuses on isolated pockets, applying deep pressure to remove rigid adhesions in connective tissue that come from serious and chronic injuries. More benefits become known as recreational athletes start to get more into massages. New techniques are being used almost every day to provide professional athletes an edge over the competition.
Boosting Physical Performance
Massage therapy produces positive psychological effects. Participating in sports has to do with more than sheer physical strength and stamina. It requires determination, willpower, and a mental toughness. Getting a massage helps athletes relax and reduce anxiety and stress. Through massage, they receive an increase in dopamine and serotonin levels while reducing cortisol. These play a major role in the mental aspect of athletic performance.
Massage adds mitochondria in our cells, a vital but sometimes overlooked component in physical performance. According to research conducted at McMaster University in Ontario, this gives more energy, helps to consume nutrition more effectively, and even heightens performance by allowing muscles to utilize oxygen at an increased rate.
Additionally, massage can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Endurance athletes typically have low basal or resting heart rates, adapted to prevent cardiac stress during peak activity. Massage can aid your cardiovascular system in working more efficiently and promoting effective circulation.
Last on the list are the more prominent effects: faster recovery times and less muscle stiffness. Due to improved circulation, increased mitochondria in cells, reduced stress, etc., the body is able to repair muscle tissue at a faster rate, cutting recovery time short. This allows an athlete to resume training and competition with minimal downtime.
That’s the Spot
Before visiting the spa, get in touch and let them know of your specific needs, particularly if you are gearing up for, or winding down from, intense physical activity. Inquire about deep tissue massage – if they have it available, and what services they recommend for people who participate in performance sports.
With our deep tissue massage, your tissue turns more flexible and you will be able to improve the structure of your skin and ensure better blood circulation. This massage helps in relieving various problems, including limited mobility, lower back pain, injuries, repetitive strain injury, including carpal tunnel syndrome, postural problems, sciatica, tennis elbow, muscle spasms and many more. Effective after a workout or bodybuilding, this therapy improves your range of motion and relieves fibromyalgia pain. Learn more about our deep tissue massage here.