My Top Six – Massage & Sports Performance

 

Happy New Year, beautiful bodies!

Back again, and this time I want to share with you what I consider to be the top six reasons that explain why massage and sports performance go so well together.

Let’s jump straight in!

M a s s a g e  B e n e f i t s

  • Helps Remove Toxins
  • Increases Flexibility & Range of Motion
  • Helps to Correct Imbalances
  • Aids Injury Rehabilitation
  • Improves Sleep
  • Increases the Production of Happy Hormones

That’s an impressive list! Let’s break this down in to more digestible pieces.

The Removal of Toxins

During massage, waste products are removed from tissue and oxygen flow increases. This can help speed up the recovery and repair process of muscle tissue and is especially useful for recovery time from exercise, cutting back on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Added to the removal of what is no longer needed, massage also improves blood flow, allowing nutrition to access the muscles quicker and makes the absorption of nutrition more effective.

! ! ! N E R D Y   F A C T ! ! !

DOMS, although different to a lactic acid build up, the temporary burn experienced during intense exercise, can be pretty unpleasant. Although not a huge amount is understood about what causes this reaction, it’s believed that the repairing of micro muscular damage causes inflammation, leading to increased muscle tenderness, a decrease in range of motion and a loss of strength, often setting in between 24 and 72 hours post exercise.

 Improving Range Of Motion

Improving flexibility and increasing the range of motion within a joint can allow you not only to function more easily in your daily activities, but it could help you get the more out of your training!

A treatment that looks at the releasing of tight hip flexors and includes focus stretches of glute and hamstring muscles for example, can help a you to achieve a greater range of motion, meaning a better depth can be gained during a squat. Having access to a fuller range of movement means better stability can be built up throughout the whole length of the muscle, making your movements more explosive and effective.

The Correction of Imbalances

The some of the most common causes for imbalance comes from occupational and environmental posture habits or chronic pain.

Imbalance can have a huge effect on everyday movement; it can disrupt sleep and can become an incredibly draining experience.

Massage techniques such as trigger point therapy and myofasical release, used to release adhesions in shortened muscles, help to create space within joints, often easing life long pain and allowing freedom in movement to be regained.

Aiding Injury Rehabilitation

Acute injury can hugely benefit from massage. Combining techniques used to reduce inflammation and the treatment of myofasical and muscular adhesions, allow movement to feel more comfortable, enabling the continual use of an injured site.

Research has shown that using the muscles involved in minor strains and sprains during the healing process and aids better recovery.

! ! ! N E R D Y  F A C T ! ! !

The previously recommended strain & sprain injury protocol R . I . C . E, has had a mnemonic upgrade. Doctors and other practitioners now recommend you initiate (some little grey) M . I . C . E

M o t i o n

I c e

C o m p r e s s i o n

E l e v a t i o n

Improving Sleep

Believe it or not, muscle growth doesn’t actually happen while you’re in the gym. Oh no, hypertrophy (muscle growth) happens in the rest period.

Sleep is so important to muscle growth, in fact, that getting a full 7-8 hour average each night should be up there with your meal prep.

Shiatsu massage and Craniosacral therapy calms the sympathetic nervous system, which has shown to improve sleep. It also encourages the production of serotonin, which as you will read below has a magical part to play when you body prepares for sleep.

! ! ! N E R D Y F A C T ! ! !

Research shows that recovery and repair happens during REM sleep, which typically makes up 15-25% of our sleep phase.

Those Happy Hormones!

That’s right, massage is responsible for releasing more of the happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine! These two awesome guys are responsible for countless functions and processes in your body, from telling you when to sleep to controlling your metabolism.

Having just read about how important sleep is for recovery, I’m sure you will be delighted to hear that one of Serotonin’s jobs is to help in the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone!

And Dopamine, associated with our motivation and reward systems, is highly beneficial when it come to exercise, especially the goal setting side of things. Dopamine makes it easier to stick to something and makes the process of achieving it enjoyable.

 

And there it is, your top six! I think it makes massage sound pretty fricking great, but of course I would say that.

It’s been a pleasure guys, as always. I’ll catch you next time for more chats and facts.

Book a consultation and start to see great improvement to your overall health and sporting goals! Email hello@georgierock.com or send me a message here.