In the United States, massage therapy is generally considered a luxury. But the truth is that massage can be used for much more than just relaxation. The health benefits of massage are numerous. Massage therapy can relieve pain, increase energy, improve sleep, encourage healthy digestion and more.
One area where massage therapy is extremely beneficial is in the sports arena. I’ve never met an athlete who had never been at least moderately injured. Massages can be a great tool for taking care of sport-related injuries, while also helping to prevent future injuries. More and more professional athletes are using massage therapy to stay healthy and improve their performance. Trainers and athletes alike believe regular massage therapy can provide a competitive edge when it comes to sports.
The most obvious benefit to athletes from deep tissue massage is pain relief. Athletes can be chronically plagued with pain, whether they have been injured or not. Deep tissue massage improves blood circulation and also reduces inflammation, a certain contributing factor to pain in the body.
Improving blood circulation is particularly beneficial for athletes, because it can lead to improved performance on the field or court. Deep tissue massage is a safe and healthy way for athletes to step-up their overall performance.
Regular deep tissue massage can also help increase flexibility and range of motion. With increased range of motion and better flexibility, the chances of getting injured are less likely. Deep tissue massage increases blood flow to the fascia and muscles. The increased circulation reduces muscle soreness and tension that can sometimes lead to limited range of motion and less flexibility.
Deep tissue massage is also a great way to relieve stress. When stress and accompanying cortisol levels are lower, we tend to sleep better. This allows the body to repair and renew its cells. Professional athletes, in particular, are under a lot of pressure to perform at optimum levels. A relaxing deep tissue massage can help to ease some of the stress they feel on a daily basis. The natural stress-relieving effects of a deep tissue massage include dilated blood vessels and lower activity of the limbic system, which is responsible for secreting cortisol, the stress hormone.
Lastly, deep tissue massage is a great way to break up scar tissue from previous injuries. This happens when lymphatic circulation is increased, which thereby improves the range of motion of the tissues. Over time, this actually helps to break up scar tissue. The body will then reabsorb the cellular debris and discard it.
If you are an athlete or even a weekend warrior who ends up feeling pain or experiencing some sort of injury, deep tissue massage might be a great choice.