Does Sports Massage Improve Performance?
Posted on 21st May 2020 at 10:00
For a sports person, being able to perform at their best throughout training and competing is essential. It’s also important for any desk-based employee to feel comfortable whilst working long hours.
Deep-tissue massage increases the size and number of new mitochondria more than exercising without having regular massage. This increase can improve endurance performance by increasing the rate that muscles use oxygen. Persistent supply of oxygen is crucial for improving performance.
What are mitochondria?
Mitochondria are found in large numbers in most cells within your body in which the process of respiration and energy production occurs. You can already probably guess logically how this can improve one’s health and wellbeing.
How does Sports Massage improve performance?
It will reduce muscle fatigue post event/post long working hours. This will leave you more ready to continue training/working with less muscle soreness.
It can reduce Blood Pressure which helps with your overall health.
It reduces heart rate.
Lowers anxiety and stress levels which leads to clearer thinking. It stabilises cortisol levels which is a stress hormone.
Improves connective tissue healing, which promotes muscle elasticity/flexibility.
It can prevent injury from happening by improving muscle flexibility.
It should decrease muscle spasms.
It will help improve your sleep.
It enhances an athlete’s psychological readiness pre-event/pre-training.
Breaks down scar tissue - Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can affect muscle, tendons, and ligaments. This can lead to dysfunctional muscles that are prone to injury and pain.
Improves relaxation - Muscles relax through heat generation which improves circulation and through stretching. Receptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length, and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.
Therefore, anxiety is reduced from all these side affects deep tissue massage has on our bodies.
Why massage is important for athletes
Massage increases the blood flow throughout the body to aid connective tissue repair.
Massage helps vital nutrients and oxygen travel around the body much more quickly.
Massage will improve muscle elasticity.
Pre-event sports massage helps prepare the athlete for peak performance. (This is short, fast, and used to stimulate the muscles to wake up.)
Maintenance massage post-training/event will help with to speed up the recovery process.
Massage helps a lot during rehabilitation
If you’re an athlete these benefits are crucial so you can achieve your goals injury free and in the healthiest way possible without over-training and putting too much demand onto your body. It’s also helpful for your mindset. A good massage therapist can help you to track whether you’re doing too much and advise if you need to ease off certain areas or not.
How often should I get sports massage in order to see an effective impact?
The frequency you need a sports massage varies from person to person depending on your lifestyle. Very few people put effort into taking good care of their body to help them perform, which is what leads to setbacks. They put more effort into their training and work but less effort into what the body needs alongside that, which is why issues can arise.
One session a month usually for most full-time office-based people helps address any issues they may have and prevent them from getting worse. Just a maintenance massage does the job. We would suggest 60 minutes being a good amount of time to achieve this. You could even split this into two half an hour-sessions a month if you have very high pain levels.
When it comes to injuries that are acute or chronic, then more weekly sessions for a period of time will help you to recover faster. We’ll be there alongside you to help you recover by offering clear guidance and providing you with our understanding of what stage of recovery you’re at, so as not to make anything worse.
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