Regular Massage Has Multiple Benefits for Athletes

29 Aug Posted by in Blog, Massage | Comments Off on Regular Massage Has Multiple Benefits for Athletes

massaggioSerious amateur athletes and those who participate in regular exercise programs often experience sore, tight muscles. Although athletes have embraced the mantra of “no pain, no gain” for years, excessive muscle soreness can actually hinder performance.

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has long maintained that regular, deep tissue massage can have a positive response on athletic performance. That tenet is now beginning to be backed up by research and governmental bodies such as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine noting that when properly performed, massage therapy not only relieves sore muscles, but can also improve performance, reduce pain, prevent injury, encourage focus and shorten recovery time.

Massage therapy has a number of physiological effects. One of its lesser known advantages is how massage therapy affects the cardiovascular system. Massage dilates blood vessels and promotes better circulation, delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissue while helping to remove waste and toxins.

Increased blood flow, in turn, helps to relieve muscle tension and reduce soreness. Relaxed muscles often experience increased range of motion and flexibility, characteristics that lead to better athletic performance. Research from McMaster University in Ontario indicates that massage reduces inflammation and promotion mitochondrial growth that produces cell energy following strenuous exercise. Massage therapy not only feels good, it aids pain relief, builds muscle and encourages recovery.

The psychological effects of massage on athletes are also numerous. Not all performance is physical, some of it is mental. Massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, increasing dopamine and serotonin, which reducing cortisol, all of which are directly related to stress. A relaxed state encourages focusing, an essential characteristic that athletes need whether competing, practicing or simply participating in exercise classes.