The Multiple Benefits of Massage for Athletes

February 19, 2015
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Massage for Athletes

Whether you're gearing up for the Shamrock 5K or training for the Portland Marathon, keeping your mind and body in prime condition is essential to any athlete. Proper relaxation and release of lactic acids not only helps you recover faster from your last race, it can also help you perform at your optimum level in the next. For years now, we've been helping local area athletes prepare for and recuperate from the rigors of athletic competition. The following is a short list we've observed.

Maintenance of Muscles

Massage can help improve muscle recovery, which leads to more efficient training. With increased circulation, tissues are better able to receive nutrients and other substances that are vital for optimal body functioning. Massage also helps decrease the swelling of muscles and relaxes and stretches sore muscles.

Massage Pre-Competition

Pre-competition massage can be a tool for increasing or decreasing the stimulation level of nerve cells, ligaments, and joints, which helps in keeping them loose and flexible. This can help to prevent excessive micro-trauma. Massage before a competition focuses on stretching and warming up the tendons and ligaments of the legs and arms. These connective tissues do not have their own blood supply; therefore it takes longer to warm them up. Massage improves the bodies' circulation; hence improved blood flow to the tendons and ligaments.

Massage Post-Competition

massage for athletesA massage after an athletic event is very relaxing for the body and the mind. Massages performed after a workout or competition help to relieve the effects of muscular fatigue. Massage helps the body by relieving soreness and stiffness and it allows the muscles to maintain flexibility and looseness. The joints, tendons and ligaments are also helped in the same manner. Research suggests that post-workout or post-competition massage can speed up recovery time by as much as two times faster than rest alone. When given a massage, the body is able to transport nutrients and oxygen better to the muscles because of the enhanced blood flow.

Massage And Injuries

Massage has been shown to accelerate the recovery of injured muscles. Massage also allows for a greater range of motion of the injured muscle. However, massage therapy for muscle damage should not be performed immediately after the injury. Massage therapy should not be given any sooner than 48 hours after an injury occurs to be sure the swelling and pain have ceased before receiving the massage therapy. For a quicker recovery, the RICE method should be utilized. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) Read more about RICE method here. Follow this up with massage therapy and this will put you on the road to recovery!

Massage Speeds Recovery Time

Therapeutic massage helps the body recover from the stresses of strenuous exercise and facilitates the rebuilding phase of conditioning. The physiological benefits of massage includes improved blood and lymph circulation, muscle relaxation and general relaxation. These in turn lead to removal of waste products and better cell nutrition, normalization and greater elasticity of tissues, deactivation of trigger points and faster healing of injuries. It all adds up to relief from soreness and stiffness, better flexibility and less potential for future injury.

Give us a call at 503-281-0278 to speak with one of our wellness consultants if you have any questions about whether or not massage should be a part of your workout and recovery routine or book online here.

Zama Massage Therapeutic Spa

2149 NE Broadway Street
PortlandOregon 97232
Off street parking in back (compact cars only).

Phone: 503.281.0278


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