Can massage therapy boost athletic performance?
Many athletes mention massage therapy as part of their regular routine.
But does this actually help them perform better?
There is little hard and fast scientific evidence to prove this point, but ask around or consider what a massage from a certified person does provide and the benefits certainly seem to indicate a performance boost follows:
* Massage therapy can reduce muscle tightness and promote relaxation by reducing heart rate and blood pressure.
* Massage involves applying pressure to the soft muscle tissues, which helps improve flexibility and increase.
* For minor injuries such as muscle pulls, strains and aches, a massage can help you bounce back much quicker. I’d argue it can even help avoid serious injuries in the long term by keeping muscles more flexible.
* Deep-tissue massage, also referred to as sports massage or Swedish massage, helps loosen up tight or fatigued muscles.
* A massage can help release knots you often didn’t even know you had and help get the blood flow going better in the muscles.
Someone who’s been experiencing tight hamstrings or calves, for instance, can get those muscles significantly loosened up during a half hour or hour massage.
* A brief pre-event sports massage can help someone warm up much better. During the event, a quick massage can offer spot treatment for tightness or cramping that may occur and get the athlete back out on the field, floor or court quicker. A gentle post-workout massage can aid recovery.
* Make sure to go to a certified massage therapist. The industry is not highly regulated.
To find a licensed massage therapist in your area, a Website recommend is the American Massage Therapy Association at www.amtamassage.org. You can also consult friends, doctors or trainers for references.
At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at firstname.lastname@example.org