Despite the fact that massage therapy has been used by professional athletes for many years, it was not until recently that scientific studies were able to demonstrate the true benefits of this therapy. Thanks to recent research studies, the American Massage Therapy Association has now been able to prove that massage therapy is not only beneficial to the performance of professional athletes, but for all individuals who participate in a regular exercise routine. Below you will learn more about five of the most impressive benefits that this therapy has to offer.
Benefit #1: Improve Circulation
Sports massage helps to dilate the blood vessels deep within the skin. This results in better circulation both before and after a sporting event or serious workout session. This can help to encourage the quick return of blood to the heart which ultimately leads to better oxygen circulation to all of your muscles.
An increase in blood circulation can also help your muscles to recover faster and decrease soreness after a strenuous workout.
Benefit #2: Promote Mitochondrial Growth
Massage therapy has been some to encourage new mitochondrial growth. This is the unit of energy found within your cells. As a result of this increased cellular energy, massage is able to help relieve pain, encourage muscle growth, and aid in faster muscle recovery. This can be especially beneficial for athletes who participate in sporting events several times a week since their muscles are not given much time to recover naturally in between each workout.
Benefit #3: Improve Mental Performance
Studies have shown that athletic performance is only partially attributed to physical abilities. Mental performance is also important to an athletes overall performance. This is because quick reaction times and maneuverability often play a significant role in how well an athlete performs. The stress-reducing benefits of sports massage can help athletes to perform far better in this area. Massage can also prove quite useful in reliving anxiety before a big game or sporting event.
Benefit #4: Prevent Injury
When muscles are heavily exercised on a regular basis, these muscles will often remain tight rather than relaxing naturally. This can limit flexibility and make injury far more likely. The use of massage therapy both before and after strenuous physical activity can help to keep muscles pliable and therefore reduce the likeliness of an injury occurring. This is especially true when discussing injuries which are attributed to chronic muscle strain.
Benefit #5: Reduce Muscle Fatigue
Many athletes suffer from muscle fatigue and delayed onset muscle soreness. These conditions can have a significant impact on their performance, as well as the overall amount of muscle damage that they suffer over time. Recent research has shown that the use of sports massage and even other types of massage after vigorous exercise can help to prevent the development of these often debilitating conditions, as well as eliminating the pain which associated with them.
A Final Thought
Whether you are looking to increase your flexibility, prevent injury, or improve athletic performance, the use of sports massage therapy can help you to accomplish your goals. This therapy can also do wonders when looking to relieve pain after a serious workout.