Sports massage is not a relaxing experience. It is done vigorously, with the myofascia muscles as its targets. Its goal is to enhance movement before, during, and after activity. If you are looking for pre-rehab, an improvement in your performance, or better recovery from injury, sports massage may be the answer.
During the massage your circulation is increased. This enables your body to get rid of metabolic waste, and to receive more of the nutrients needed for health. Muscle pain will diminish, as will fatigue.
Whether you are going to be playing in a sporting event, working in your garden, going for a run, or getting active with your friends, a sports massage is beneficial both before and after the activity.
A massage before being active will relax your muscles and enhance your frame of mind. A massage afterward can help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. Your increased circulation and waste removal will have you feeling better faster than you normally would.
An injury such as a muscle sprain or strain will respond well to sports massage. It can enhance regeneration of tissue, decrease scar tissue and shrink stretch marks. Swelling is decreased while circulation is increased. Adhesions and scar tissue get broken down.
Repetitive motion causes repetitive stress on the body. Some muscles are overworked while others are not being used much. This situation can lead to being less efficient in your movement. It can also result in an injury. A massage therapist is trained to recognize imbalances showing up in your muscles, and can help you to regain muscle balance.
Sports massage can increase a limited range of motion and joint flexibility. Muscles that are weakened, too tight, or atrophied from lack of movement will benefit. Muscles that are overworked or injured are relaxed. Cramps and spasms will ease.
Sports massage despite its name is not just for people playing sports. Chronic health conditions can also benefit in significant ways.
Oxygen and nutrients are pumped into organs and tissues. This improves circulation. Massage stimulates the lymph system, which strengthens the immune system. Endorphins are also released by sports massage which reduces pain in the body.
Pain and stiffness from arthritis can be reduced. High blood pressure can be brought to a more healthy level. Women with premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, experience fewer cramps with less intensity, and less fluid retention.
People with burn injuries experience less pain and itching. Their anxiety levels decrease. Children with asthma have better lung function and better air flow.
The possible benefits are numerous, in many arenas. Most people would feel better and experience better health from regular visits to a sports massage therapist.
Jody Smith is a freelance writer for Empowher.com.
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