From the hospital to the physical training room, massage therapy has evolved from a supposed pleasure to a valuable and sometimes critical aspect in treating illnesses. There was no definitive proof that massage has a good impact on athletes until the last ten years. The effects of massage are now being taken seriously, due to recent research and some support from credible outlets. Those advantages aren’t limited to professionals. They are available to anybody who follows a daily fitness schedule.
Massage improves efficiency, reduces discomfort, prevents injuries, encourages concentration, and reduces healing time, according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). It consists of two kinds of responses: a mechanical response caused by the pressure and action, and a reflex response caused by the relaxation of the nerves by the massage.
Effect on the Physiology
Massage has an impact on the cardiovascular system, something you might not be aware of. It dilates blood vessels, allowing them to function more effectively and facilitate circulation. The manual assistance of facilitating venous blood supply back to the heart improves blood flow, and provides fresh oxygen and nutrients to the tissue while still promoting waste loss and contaminants elimination. Your heart rate drops as a result of the calm state you’re in before and during the massage.
The benefits of massage to the muscle system are becoming more well-known and anticipated. One of them has a strong connection to cardiovascular health. Increased and improved blood supply relieves muscle pain, reduces soreness, and speeds up healing time. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, relaxed muscles will undergo “an improvement in range of motion and endurance.” Both of these advantages will help you do well in sports. In brief, massage can aid with pain management, muscle development, and regeneration. Massage is not only relaxing for the muscles, but it is also beneficial to them.
Athleticism, especially the athleticism required in professional sports, does not depend solely on physical strength, according to a sports massage study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. Performance can also be influenced by tactical manoeuvring in cycling or the desire to concentrate on a goal (e.g., gymnastics or golf). As a result, the psychological impact that a massage may have on an athlete can be significant in a non-physiological way. By stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, you can reduce stress, tension, and anxiety while still facilitating relaxation. As a result, dopamine and serotonin levels rise when cortisol levels fall, all of which are related to stress. The calm, low-tension state promotes concentration, which is beneficial before participating in any activity, group workout class, or competition.
Athletes’ Massage Options
A deep tissue or sports massage would serve you more as an exerciser or athlete than a salon soft-and-gentle-and-smelling-good massage. These styles of massages, on the other hand, can not always be relaxing.
Depending on the sport you play in, a sports massage can include a fast-paced massage, stretching, and other techniques. It can be customised to be used as a pre-workout stretch and warm-up opportunity, or as a post-workout massage to relieve soreness and improve flexibility.
Massage therapists also recommend deep tissue massage because it targets specific conditions by adding more pressure to layers of muscles and other deep tissues. Expect to feel uncomfortable for the duration of the massage. It’s made to get into loops and release tension in the muscles. However, be ready. Both types of massage will leave you sore due to their focus on soft tissue aches and pains.
Where Do You Get A Massage?
It’s important to remember that while a one-time massage is good, it won’t provide you with the same advantages as a daily massage service, according to therapists and science. Your benefits, like those of exercising, build up over time, but the more you have a massage, the more you’ll reap the benefits. Consider it preventive care. However, keep in mind that the rewards are always fleeting, which is why it is a cumulative intervention. Paul Valentine, a massage therapist, suggests arranging massages “once a week if possible, or every other week if you’re practising at a high level.” If a weekly or biweekly massage isn’t in the budget or you don’t have time, he recommends having a massage at least twice a month.
Since you may be as exhausted after a massage as you will after a heavy exercise, pre-event (like a hard workout or a long run) or pre-race massages should be scheduled three to five days before the event. In reality, if you can, plan it for a day when you’re not working.