DOES MASSAGE HELP RECOVERY AFTER
- 1 What is a Sports Massage?
- 2 Benefits of Massage after Sports
A massage therapy helps the body relax and promotes a smooth flow of blood through blood vessels. In the past, a massage treatment was recommended for the elderly and people with medical conditions that affected the performance of their muscle tissues.
Today, massage parlors are available in many locations and offer massage therapy to regular folk who want to relax while on a break from their busy schedules. People who engage in regular sporting activities, in particular, can benefit greatly from regular massage because it enables them to bounce back to optimal performance quickly.
Massage therapists who use their hands when giving a massage to their clients are best placed to help clients minimize the massage chair side effects. They do this by ensuring that the client is comfortable before commencing the session and keeping the massage session short.
In this article, we help you understand how a massage can help you recover fast after sports. We do this by discussing some of the benefits that one could get from a massage after being involved in sporting activities that strain the muscles.
What is a Sports Massage?
A sports massage uses techniques that aim to relax the soft tissue in the body. Sports massage manipulates the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia and can be performed either before or after an intense workout session.
Massaging soft tissues after a session involving lots of physical strain enables the body to recover quickly from strain and helps fix imbalances on soft tissue that result from repeated physical strain. (1) An athlete who receives regular sports massage, therefore, recovers quickly from injuries and performs better.
Besides enhancing recovery, a sports massage also helps the athlete's body to be less susceptible to injury. It is imperative to note, however, that massage sessions should be short and scheduled in such a way that there is enough time left in between sessions to prevent the client from suffering from the dangers of massage chairs.
The athlete can receive a sports massage before engaging in a sporting activity, about 10 to 15 minutes before the athlete begins playing, or post-event, which should be about 2 hours after the athlete finishes playing.
A restorative sports massage can be performed during training to help the recipient increase his or her endurance and prevent injury. A rehabilitative sports massage helps to alleviate pain that results from an injury and helps restore damaged tissues and muscles.
Benefits of Massage after Sports
Receiving a massage after participating in an intense sporting session has great benefits. The section below discusses some of these benefits.
Your muscles go through a lot of strain during any sports session and require sufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients to help them recover. A sports massage enables blood vessels to supply sufficient blood to the recovering muscles, which carries with it oxygen and nutrients. Receiving a massage regularly also enables the muscles to replace cells that break down due to intense physical strain.
A study done on massaged muscles and published on verywellfit website, revealed that massaging helped the muscles recover naturally. In fact, there were no traces of white blood cells in the muscles. Massaged muscles also showed less swelling and inflammation, which means that the body is ready for the next session.
Athletes who receive a massage after sports experience increased flexibility owing to the stretching effect of the massage on the muscles. Intense sporting activities sometimes cause tension on the body muscles, which can be reduced by massaging. Tensed up muscles could cause more injuries and swelling, especially when the muscle tissue, fascia, and other tissue stick together.
A massage works to keep the body agile by reducing soreness of the muscles. Reduced agility is often the main cause of injuries during a sporting session. Players who get a post-event massage are flexible and react quickly when playing any sport.
Scheduling a regular massage with a massage therapist enables the therapist to work on the strained muscles after a game and enables them to spot tensed up muscles, joints, and pressure points before they become a problem in the future.
Scheduling regular appointments with one massage therapist is important because it enables the therapist to customize the massage to fit the relaxation requirements specific to your body. During the massage, the therapist can locate and give extra attention to parts that require intense massage like tight muscles, hamstrings, and hips.
Reduction of pain
Massaging muscles after a sporting activity helps alleviate the pain experienced when the body goes through strenuous physical activity. When experiencing pain, an athlete is likely to perform below his or her potential. As such, pain should be dealt with as soon as possible.
Receiving a massage right after engaging in a strenuous sporting activity works to reduce the pain that emanates from sore muscles. Neglecting sore muscles only increases the pain and the probability of injuries when the athlete jumps into training the following day.
Improved blood circulation
Competitive sport activities can cause strain to the muscles and tissues around the joints. A massage eases out the tensed muscles that could restrict blood flow. The blood flowing back to the heart is low pressure, which means that a slightly restricted flow in the blood vessels reduces the efficiency of the blood in getting rid of metabolites and waste tissue.
Better flow of blood through the blood vessels helps the body get rid of toxins that build up during training and sporting activities. These toxins contribute to fatigue and strain during the early stages of a game, which could lead to dismal performance.
Improved blood flow that comes with the relaxed muscles that result from a massage helps in efficient distribution of fresh blood and nutrients to all body organs and muscles. The nutrients play an important role in the body during recovery after a sporting activity. The nutrients help in rebuilding broken tissues and enhance energy uptake by the cells, thus making the body stronger and more resilient.
A sports massage that involves stimulation of deep body tissue and kneading of the muscles helps push blood towards the heart. The improved circulation resulting from relaxed muscles and free-flowing blood through relaxed blood vessels improves the composition of blood and enables it to transport more nutrients to body organs.
According to a publication on the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a test on the blood of recipients of sporting massage proved that the blood had increased levels of proteins that are important in helping the body fight tumors and infection from viruses and other pathogens.
Going to bed when your muscles are more relaxed after a massage rather than when they are tensed up helps you to get deeper sleep.
Quality and quantity in sleep is important for the body's recovery process, as it helps the muscles to relax further and improves metabolism.
Sleeping with tensed up muscles causes shorter sleep cycles with frequent interruptions and uneasiness. Getting a goodnight's sleep helps the body to rejuvenate, which means that the person wakes up fresh and ready to tackle the next day's activities.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Team sports and individual sporting activities require full body and mind involvement. Professional sportsmen's and people who regularly engage in sporting activities experience buildup of stress from packed schedules that leave little relaxation opportunity in between training, practicing new moves, and playing the actual game.
A great way of getting rid of the stress is working out. Workouts that are organized among team members help them bond and reduce stress when they interact in the gym during a workout. A follow up massage helps the sportsmen get full body and mind relaxation, thus enabling them to be ready for the next training or practice session and perform better when playing.
Improves your mood
Competitive sports involve many emotions for both the fans as well as the players. The end of a typical game has the winning team pleased with the results while the opposing team is disappointed.
A sports massage helps to boost the circulation of blood.Studies have shown that during a massage session, the brain releases a chemical known as serotonin, which puts the person receiving the massage in a better mood.
Scheduling a sports massage right after a competitive sporting activity is a great way to release tension that builds up during the game.
Increased energy levels
Getting a massage serves to increase energy levels. According to the complete body website, massaging the deep tissues in the body excites and relaxes mitochondria that are responsible for generating energy for body cells.
With more energy generated by cells, the muscles have more energy and can utilize more oxygen. The massage also improves blood flow and avails more nutrients to the cells and muscles that can be converted to energy.
Muscle or joint inflammations are often result from accumulated white blood cells that collect at the point with damaged cells and tissue in order to protect it from further damage. (2) In a way, an inflammation is the method the body uses to heal itself.
While this is a good thing, inflammations can prohibit one from engaging in regular sports, especially when they do not reduce or go away quickly. As a result, many athletes go for quick remedies to get rid of the inflammations, which include anti-inflammatory pills or gels.
Evidently, getting an after-sporting massage could help you recover naturally after sports. The massage increases blood flow to all parts of the body and enables the muscles to heal naturally.