Sports coaches and athletes have known for many years how beneficial massage therapy can be. It is for this reason that many international sports teams have professional massage therapists on board. Often, sessions with those massage therapists are included in the athletes’ regular training schedules to help them recover faster from their rigorous exercises.
Years ago, there was no concrete evidence supporting the theory that massage therapy can help improve athletic performance. But the increase in funds for research on massage therapy has helped establish that there are, indeed, several benefits linked with receiving regular massage therapy.
Here are some of the ways massage therapy can help athletes:
Massage Therapy Lessens Chronic Pain
Athletes often experience chronic pain. Pain is transmitted through the body via a network of fibers of the nervous system which sends “signals” from the area of injury to the brain and back. Pain can affect the body’s ability to recover from injuries and even one’s sleep patterns. In these kinds of situations, massage therapy can help provide relief. During a massage, the body releases endorphins which are the hormones responsible for inhibiting the function of pain receptors. This results in the reduction of pain intensity. It also reduces overall stress so the athlete is able to rest more, speeding up the healing process.
Massage Therapy Relaxes the Muscular System
Athletes who undergo rigorous and sometimes stressful training on a regular basis need their muscular system to be relaxed. One of the many reasons is that one cannot perform well when muscles are sore and inflexible. When the muscle fibers are put under stress, they get knotted up with each other and the muscle becomes stiff. Massage therapy can help by stretching and loosening tense muscles. It also opens the passages that allow blood, as well as necessary nutrients and oxygen, to reach those sore sites and speed up recovery.
Massage Therapy Speeds Up Rehabilitation
Athletes sometimes get injured while playing or as a result of an accident. Even the most minor injuries can hamper an athlete’s performance. Rehabilitation, therefore, is important. Regular massage therapy can help athletes heal from their injuries and also reduce their discomfort during rehabilitation.
Massage Therapy Helps Athletes Achieve Better Form
An athlete’s body goes through so much physical stress. It is, therefore, natural for one to slightly modify his posture to reduce stress in affected areas in their body. Unfortunately, this bad form can slowly turn into a habit. The result is bad posture which can cause problems in the neck, shoulder, spine, and hips. Massage therapy addresses such issues by straightening the spine and relaxing core muscles so the posture returns to normal.
If you are an athlete, you know how important it is to keep your body in top form. To be able to do this, it is important that you get a massage on a regular basis. Sloan Natural Health Center, your trusted partner in keeping your body healthy, now offers massage therapy! Call us to book a massage appointment and experience its many benefits!