Athletic Training and Massage
An athlete can receive multiple benefits from a massage. In fact, massage has the ability to benefit every aspect of a training program. These aspects include warming up and cooling down. Massage also assists in preventing injury. A sports massage can even enhance your overall athletic skill, while treating specific problems that could be affecting your training and holding you back.
Massage helps reduce the pain experienced by tight muscles and recovering injuries. Massage helps scar tissue heal properly. Massage can almost be considered a pre-event warm up. This is because your muscles are stretched during a massage and your joints are moved through the proper range of motion. The massage has put your muscles into a pliable state and warmed up your joints, making you ready to be active. By having limber muscles and joints, at the onset of your event, you can possibly prevent an injury.
A massage decreases your stress level, which, in turn, increases your ability to focus. Some of the brisk movements included in a massage can leave you feeling invigorated as well. After a sports event, if you are experiencing tired and sore muscles, massage will hasten the muscles healing process. This happens because the massage strokes mimic the natural flow of your body’s circulatory and lymphatic system. These systems are responsible for draining the wastes from your muscle tissue. Because massage can assist with dissolving waste fluids like lactic acid, this leads to a shorter recovery time.
Whether injured or not, massage should be an important part of a training routine. The benefits obtained from a massage are not only physical, but psychological, as well. Massage has the ability to:
- Boost your performance level.
- Maintain your body and keep it in good condition.
- Extend the total life of your sports career.
- Prevent you from suffering an injury and loss of flexibility/mobility.
- Restore your mobility and cure muscle tissue that has been injured.
Deep massage makes the pores in your tissue membranes open up. This enables the nutrients and fluids to pass through, assisting with the removal of waste products from your body. The waste product removal encourages your muscles to absorb more nutrients and oxygen, which helps with recovery.
Some of the movements during a massage cause fluid to be sucked through your lymph and blood vessels. This is because the increase in pressure at the front of the massage stroke actually creates a vacuum behind it. This is extremely beneficial to damaged or tight muscle tissue. The tight muscle is like a sponge, squeezing the blood out. This deprives your tissues of the energy and vital nutrients necessary for repair. Scar tissue forms due to previous trauma to your muscles, ligaments and tendons. Scar tissue can lead to loss of flexibility, which makes your tissues more prone to becoming injured.