Thursday, September 1, 2011

Benefits of massage for athletes: The Basics.

Let's start at the start with this blog...what are the benefits of massage? Since most of you (my clients) are athletes, or at least weekend warriors, I'll address this in a way that speaks to the athlete in us. That is, I'll address how it can assist your recovery (and ultimately your performance).

When muscles are used in a workout, chemical reactions result in lactic acid, which eventually builds up faster than it can be removed from the muscle. Additionally, microtears occur in the muscle. So after a workout, it's easy to see that there's waste in the muscles which needs to be cleared away to make room for nutrients to heal the microtears. How does massage help?

One of the primary and greatest effects of massage is that it increases circulation - this means increased waste removal and nutrient delivery! So it should be obvious that massage can be a tremendous asset in your post-workout recovery. Realistically, however, time and money restrictions can mean massage is not always a daily option. So how can you aide your recovery every day?

On a daily basis, be sure to make time after your workout to stretch and take the time to move around while you cool down. This cool down time will give your muscles the opportunity to pump that waste out at a greater rate than they are producing it to assist your recovery.

Then, in an ideal world, get yourself a recovery massage at least once a week when you're well. When you're injured, however, the game plan can be different, but you better believe that massage can still help...