why SPORTS MASSAGE

No athlete wants to get injured! The smallest injury affects the performance, delays training schedules and consequently leads to missing a game or competition.
When muscles are pushed to the limit during high-intensity training, the risk of getting injured will increase. Especially for a recurring injury, there's a risk it will turn into a chronic, permanent state.
Massage therapy has come a long way, from wellness treatments over specialized therapies to specific sports massages. Recent research has demonstrated that massage therapy is making significant progress in preventing injuries.

what is

SPORTS MASSAGE

what are the effects of a SPORTS MASSAGE

A sports massage not only supports muscle recovery and will not only reduces the risk of injuries, it also improves blood circulation and counteracts stress. It is a great way to reduce mental tension and relax completely after (strenuous) exercising. A good massage can restore the mobility of injured muscle tissue and will reduce fatigue.

During exercise, “micro-tears” are generated in the cells of the muscles that can lead to inflammation. (Sports) massages improve the local blood supply to these areas, which positively affects the recovery process. Researchers (1) report that after an intense workout, a massage stimulate the growth of mitochondria (the “powerhouses” in our cells that convert nutrients into usable energy) resulting in stronger muscles.

"Energy is EVERYTHING for an athlete and oxygen is EVERYTHING for the body."

The same researchers report that a deep-acting massage after exercise increases the number of mitochondria more than when no massage was applied. Increasing mitochondria will improve endurance by increasing the “transport speed” at which muscles are using oxygen. In addition, the same study showed that the mobility of the muscles increases and the recovery time between activities shortens.

what's the advantage of a

SPORTS MASSAGE

how does a SPORTS MASSAGE feel

It is a misperception that a sports massage is synonymous to a deep tissue massage.
Sports massage is the "umbrella term" that covers various techniques such as:

effleurage

Intermittent technique where the palm moves deep into the muscles to push blood away from a specific area.

petrissage

Kneading movements that exert more pressure on the muscles and tissue and normalizes muscle tensions.

friction

Friction technique used to drive away small muscle hardening with a constant pressure and to make the muscles flexible.

A massage doesn't have to be painful to be good! There is a fine line between pain and discomfort and it varies from individual to individual. Slight nuisance after a massage is acceptable. It can even reveal certain muscle weaknesses that require action for strengthening, but the discomfort should be gone after 48 hours. With a good massage, the body can even feel completely “new”.

not only benefiting

MUSCLES

Several studies from the US National Center for Biotechnology Information conclude that massage therapy (5):
Reduces heart rate and blood pressure
Shortens recovery time after an injury
Takes fears away
Improves mood conditions
Relieves muscle aches and tensions
Accelerates the healing of connective tissue which promotes muscle flexibility
Stabilizes the cortisol level (cortisol is a stress hormone, comparable to adrenaline)
Increases blood flow throughout the body, transporting nutrients and oxygen

As if these benefits aren't convincing enough, the renowned International Journal of Neuroscience (6) reports that massage therapy improves sleep quality. Which in turn benefits the recovery process.

sources

(1) > https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/ss/rejuvenate-your-cells-growing-new-mitochondria

(2) JE Hilbert, GA Sforzo, T Swensen PhD, Department of Exercise & Sport Sciences, Center for Health Sciences, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/37/1/72.short


(3) Wafa Douzi, Dimitri Theurot, Laurent Bosquet, and Benoit Dugué : An Evidence-Based Approach for Choosing Post-exercise Recovery Techniques to Reduce Markers of Muscle Damage, Soreness, Fatigue, and Inflammation
> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5932411/

(4) Jason Brummitt, MSPT, SCS, ATCa : The Role of Massage in Sports Performance and Rehabilitation. Current Evidence and Future Direction
> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2953308

(5) Izreen Supa'at, Zaiton Zakaria, Oteh Maskon, Amilia Aminuddin, Nor Anita Megat Mohd Nordin : Effects of Swedish massage therapy on blood pressure, heart rate, and inflammatory markers in hypertensive women
> https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24023571/


(6) > https://www.amtamassage.org/about/position-statements/massage-therapy-can-help-improve-sleep/


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