As an athlete, you put your body through a lot – long hours at the gym or outside riding or running, regular events, diets for weight loss or gain, and general intense training. That intensity has side effects on your body that can be a struggle to deal with. But regular massage maintenance can help you rid your body of those side effects for even better training and performance.
How Massage Maintenance Helps
Massage can help reduce pain and possible injury in several ways.
The overall goal is to restore muscle wellness while bettering circulations and ridding the body of toxins. The best way to accomplish this is to change up the stroke patterns.
Longer strokes move fluid through your circulatory system by creating pressure in front of the stroke and suction behind it. This movement helps to increase the blood and oxygen supply while at the same time removes built-up toxins from the tissue. Massages that reach into the deeper tissue trigger the pores in your fibrous tissue to allow fluids and nutrients to flow better.
Massage Maintenance Benefit #1: Increased Flexibility
Most athletic fields – be it gymnastics, football, or weightlifting – require some degree of flexibility to perform at your peak. Because massage maintenance stretches your muscles, it boosts and retains flexibility.
If you train at either an increased volume or intensity, you also have an increased chance of muscle tension. And if you don’t seek treatment for your muscle tension, you may experience:
- A build-up of scar tissue
- Development of adhesions
- Reduced flexibility
- Increased chance of injury
Depending on the type of training you’re doing, you may also experience some muscles getting tighter than others. If you don’t address this quickly, you can experience a lasting imbalance.
For example, if you’re a bench-presser, your pectoral muscles are probably perpetually tight. But the muscles on your back may not be the same. So if you notice that you’re hunching over a lot, that’s why.
Massage Maintenance Benefit #2: Improved Blood Circulation
Along with improved circulation comes easier breathing and smoother movement.
If you participate in heavy training cycles, you’re causing micro-trauma to your soft tissues. Tight muscles also slow down the blood flow to those areas, which means the removal speed of metabolites is also stunted.
But it can be repaired – through blood flow to the damaged areas. Blood circulation removes waste from these areas and supplies food and oxygen for healing.
Massage helps to stimulate and increase circulation for shortened recovery time and a quicker return to training after an injury. This also helps to improve performance.
Massage Maintenance Benefit #3: Pain Relief
Whether your muscles are sore from just being overworked from long routines or due to a sustained injury, regular massage helps to relieve the pain. And that can do a lot for your performance.
If you’re trying to compete while in pain, you’re not going to be able to perform at your highest capacity. If the actual discomfort doesn’t stop you, the play on your psyche will.
The less you feel the pain, the better your performance will be.
Massage Maintenance Benefit #4: Better Sleep
Yes – better sleep is a definite benefit as it aids in the recovery process. And massage therapy helps to promote it.
Regular massage maintenance can improve both sleep quality and quantity. If you go to sleep in a tense state, you’re going to have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep. A deeper, longer sleep will help the recovery process as well as athletic performance.
Massage reduces some of the built-up tension for a longer and deeper rest.
Massage Maintenance Benefit #5: Less Muscle Tension
As we mentioned above, massage maintenance helps to relieve muscle tension.
Many athletes have a difficult time fully relaxing – they’re driven, and they can’t seem to just rest. That inability to release built-up tension can damage performance and muscles. But regular massage can help to fix that.
Massage Maintenance Benefit #6: Improved Immunity
Getting sick can weigh you down and keep you from training or attending events.
But the good news is that massage can help to boost your immune system to keep your chances of getting tackled by the flu or a cold down. Your body reacts to the treatment by starting up its cytotoxic capacity, and that means it will fight off germs and bacteria better.
Reach Out to Us
Weekly massage maintenance sessions mean healthier muscles, enhanced flexibility, better relaxation and sleep, and so much more. If you’re an athlete having trouble with flexibility, pain, sleep, or tension, you may want to consider adding massage to your routine. That one, small addition can help you address problems before they become more serious. Your body and athletic performance will thank you.