There was a time when massage was considered a luxury for the few. Today, every person searches for the spa in the neighbourhood, especially athletes and professional trainers. A massage is not only deemed useful but critical to keeping the body fit and at peak performing level. Surveys and studies have proven time, and again that massages can give tremendous positive effects on the functioning of the body. Athletes can be treated better, and rehabilitation can be speeded up.
The positives of body massage are not limited to professional sports person; they can be leveraged by anyone who practices a regular exercise regime. Better performance, prevention of minor injuries, a decrease in pain, more focus and reduced recovery time are a few benefits of soft-tissue therapy. In the sections below, an essential guide to massage is given for any athlete or exercise enthusiast.
The Anatomical Benefits of a Massage
When the body is massaged two things happen. First, the pressure of the masseuse’s hand and the movement of it results in a mechanical response in the body. Second, a reflex action occurs because the nerve endings are stimulated. The two responses combine to create an effect on the cardiovascular system of the body which leads to the following benefits:
- The blood vessels dilate which increase blood circulation and promotes efficiency.
- The flow to the heart enhances by the repeated manual massage which results in an increased level of oxygen in the body. Tissues have better access to nutrients, and the body removes waste products and toxins easily.
- The heart rate lowers which leads to a release of tension and a more untroubled body.
Besides the cardiovascular advantages of a massage, an athlete also gains positives of the muscular system.
- Soreness of the muscles is removed, and the tension eradicated which leads to speedier recovery in sportspersons.
- Muscles have more range of motion because of their flexibility increases.
- The above two combine to strengthen the performance of the individual in competitions and games by building muscles.
Kinds of Massages for Sports People
Relief from pain, stronger and pliable muscles and more natural recovery are the three significant boons of a massage to people who train. But it doesn’t mean that any kind of massage therapy will provide these outcomes. For athletes and exercisers there are some varieties of treatments that work the best:
- Sports massage: Depending upon the type of game the athlete plays; sports therapies can differ. Most of them are performed at very high speed and include a lot of stretching. The approach of the massage can vary based on when it is implemented, too. A pre-workout massage would mainly include stretching that warms up the muscles. A therapy done after a game would be focused on increasing elasticity and reducing soreness.
- Deep tissue therapies: This is employed when certain sections of the body are causing problems. For example, when the muscles of the knee begin to pain due to constant activity, heavy pressure on the muscles and surrounding tissue can help solve the problem. Such massages of times leave the person sore because they are designed to remove knots. Eradicating tension and pain from muscles requires a lot of pressure.
Therefore, instead of opting for aromatherapy or soft tissue massage, it is better to select sports or deep tissue massage.
The Right Time to Schedule Massages
The first point of note is to remember that the results regular massage can provide can never compare to a one-off. Any leading body massage centre will recommend scheduling an entire regime of massages that work in tandem with the sports schedule of the athlete. Therapies are very much like training. The more regularly you perform them, the better the results. Any sports person who wants to reap the cumulative benefits of spas needs to schedule them in short intervals.
They are two crucial points that should be born in mind when pencilling in massages before or after a game:
- They are not just for solving issues; they can be used for preventive measures too.
- The result of therapies can be short-lived, hence the need for a regular massage timetable
The optimal programme for any pro athlete or person who exercises at a high level is once in 7 days. If that is not possible, once in 2 weeks is essential. For other people, who don’t train as much or have constraints related to budget two times in 30 days is recommended.
A Succinct Summation
An athlete, amateur or skilled, a budding trainer or an exercise lover, each person can use massages for maintenance of the body, solving pain points and recovering from injuries. Therapies can become the crucial weapon you need to keep your body in tip-top condition. It is not just physically that massages can help you, the mental benefits are also immense. They can help you focus better and relax more.