Sports MassageYour Valley Massage Oasis
What defines an athlete? To some it refers only to those who participate in some form of athletic team competition such as football, basketball and baseball. Or individual competitive events like tennis, gymnastics, track and field, etc. But what about the UPS driver who lifts, carries and delivers boxes and packages of all sizes, all day long; or the stocker at your local grocery store or garden supply company, landscapers, contractors, maids, firemen, police officers, and the airport security (to name a few). In essence, we are all athletes to some degree!
All around us people are using their bodies and sometimes overusing, overstretching and fatiguing muscles and joints simply by repetitive activity in sports, the workplace or activities at home. Depending on the level of strain and duration of the activity (also factor in the initial health of our bodies to begin with), stress and affects of how we use our bodies will vary.
When we exercise, a variety of things take place in our bodies. We activate our muscles, which use energy and burns calories. It would only make sense that someone who trains regularly for a sporting event will experience more wear and tear on their joints, have chronic pain, or be more prone to acute pain and injury. This is where massage therapy becomes beneficial. By keeping muscles loose and stretched, and increasing your circulation so your cells are oxygenated and remain healthy, you not only prevent injury, but also experience less fatigue during a workout. This doesn’t mean you won’t get tired and you won’t get injured. It has been proven, however, that people who receive massage therapy on a regular basis may suffer less damage when they sustain an injury and may recover more quickly.
Some key things to consider about Sports Massage:
1) Never receive a deep body massage less than 24 hours before an event. Deep tissue massage can cause small muscle tears, also referred to as micro fibril tears, which can debilitate the muscle causing pain, bruising, soreness and fatigue. Although a Swedish Massage wouldn’t necessarily cause muscle damage, it is very relaxing and might induce a more lethargic reaction to your system. Your best pre-event treatment would be to get a vigorous 10-15 minute massage that includes a lot of stretching to warm the tissue up and loosen up the muscles and joints that are going to be most active during your event.
2) Never receive a deep tissue massage immediately after an event. There are techniques that therapists use specifically for post event treatment, but never deep tissue for the same reasons as mentioned above. During an activity, your body can sustain micro fibril tears, and deep tissue therapy can cause more harm than good. It would, however, be perfect timing for a Sports Massage with lymphatic treatment and stretching to help keep muscles from tightening up and to aid the release and removal of toxin buildup in the body.
3) If under the care of a physician for an injury, make sure your therapist has permission to treat related injuries. If you are not seeking treatment related to the injury, your therapist can work completely around the area so you can still receive the many other benefits of a therapeutic massage.
Remember, when your body is experiencing pain it is telling you that something is not functioning properly and you may have sustained some type of injury. It may be serious or it may be something as simple as tight muscles. Massage therapy can be the perfect solution for you in decreasing pain and preventing injury as well as maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.