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Massage helps optimize athletic performance for adults and youths

Muscle fatigue, joint stress and pain can be the result of a rigorous running schedule.

But integrating sports massage into a fitness program and training plan can promote healing from injuries, alleviate chronic pain and increase range of motion for both adults and youths. Sports massage also can reduce muscle inflammation, allow for better sleep and lessen anxiety.

If you need to prepare your muscle tissue before a race or flush the system after an activity, your massage therapist can provide a session that is right for you – whether it is a deep tissue massage that applies pressure slowly for the ultimate in relaxation or a light-pressured, fast moving session. Whatever the case, the therapy is customized for each client as part of a therapy plan.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of sports massage.

Flexibility and injury prevention

Massage stretches muscle fibers and promotes flexibility. With consistent massage therapy, both range of motion and muscle flexibility improve. When the body moves properly, an athlete can run more efficiently.

Additionally, massage improves muscle tone by mechanically stimulating the reflexes within the muscle. When muscle doesn’t move properly and consistently, the fibers adhere together and create knots. This restricts the range of motion. Transverse massage strokes help to prevent these adhesions or knots from occurring in between the muscle fibers. If adhesions build up, the muscle cannot do its job and the muscle is less flexible.

Reduced muscle pain and fatigue

Muscle pain is inevitable when a new training schedule is adopted or the intensity of workouts is increased.

Your body knows that the workload has increased and the muscles respond accordingly. When the muscles work harder toxins, such as lactic acid, are produced in the tissue. If left untreated, the tissue can become damaged over time. Where there is muscle damage, there is less circulation. Reduced circulation can lead to tightness and shortening of the tissue.

If an athlete is stiff and sore due to an injury or working out hard, he or she will not be performing at their peak. Regular massage alleviates muscle pain by removing lactic acid build up in the muscle and stripping the muscle of any other toxins. The result is less muscle pain.

Removal of toxins

When muscles are challenged during a run, the body releases toxins into the tissue. Massage is one of the quickest ways to promote recovery, because it helps release these toxins from the tissue.

Massage increases circulation and blood flow. Massage dilates the blood vessels, allowing fresh nutrients to be supplied to the muscle tissue and toxic waste to be eliminated from the body at a faster rate. Increased circulation quickens the rate at which the body heals.

To rid the body of the toxins released when running and after a massage, drink plenty of water. Flushing these toxins from your body reduces sore and tired muscles.

As the muscles are manipulated manually, the blood circulates at faster pace, improving oxygenation, too. Athletes simply perform better when circulation is improved.

Enhanced performance

Sports massage helps athletes perform better, physically and mentally. Many clients report improved range of motion after a massage session. They also report being more relaxed and less distracted, which helps them master the mental focus needed for running.

Rest and relaxation

One of the greatest benefits of a sports massage is that feeling of total relaxation and rest.

Relaxed muscles can lead to a calm mind, which in turn lowers stress. That peaceful feeling can be energizing, particularly before race day. A sense of peace also can be centering and boost the ability to focus.

A relaxed body generally sleeps better – both in the quality of sleep and the hours of sleep. Plus, the body heals during restorative sleep periods.

At Massage Concepts, specially trained massage therapists use a variety of techniques to address specific concerns and achieve the desired goal. In conjunction with the massage, enhancement products such as White Tiger Balm and Blu Emu can be incorporated to relieve pain and offer comfort.

Additionally, youth sports massages are offered in multi-session packages, which can be shared among family and friends. This flexible program works wonderfully for families with multiple kids involved in sports.

To make an appointment at Massage Concepts or for more information, call (858) 847-2777 or visit massageconceptsdelmar.com.

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