Athletes need special care with all that they put their body through. But you don’t need to be an elite athlete to take advantage of a sports massage.
For those of you who have ever worked out and felt sore the next day, that’s exactly what DOMS is: delayed onset muscle soreness. Scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes it but it is a known physiological reaction to exercise. And this is where sports massage can help.
Studies have shown that getting a massage right after a work out significantly decreases the chances of DOMS. Another way of saying this is that it reduces recovery time. It used to be believed that DOMS occurred due to lactic acid that builds up when we work out. Now it is theorized it’s the result of small tears in the muscle fibres that come from exertion. Whatever the cause, massage therapy improves that post workout soreness.
Sports massage can also help with pre-event warm up. A brisk, fast-paced massage right before a run or a game reduces the chances of injury by loosening muscles.
Another key aspect of sports massage is performance enhancement. By freeing up myofascial restrictions or trigger points, your body is able to move and react more quickly.
Unlike a relaxation massage that signals to the muscles this is a time for rest, a sports massage gets your brain in work out mode: the stimulating effects start circulating blood and get your muscles moving. It psychologically prepares you for what’s to come.
Any time you know you have a workout coming up, think about getting a sports massage right before you begin. See how much looser your muscles feel and how invigorated your mind is. It will completely change how you view your workout.
Catherine Taman is a Registered Massage Therapist practicing in Toronto, Canada. She has a special interest in treating chronic pain, headaches, sports injuries and pregnancy related pain. To book an appointment with Catherine, visit rmtmassagetherapytoronto