Our son had enrolled in a cross-country team for his senior year and during this time we have celebrated with his progresses with much of the celebration focused on him beating his personal run time. We had also heard quite of bit of health complaints from him as well, ranging from shin splints to sore muscles to throwing up. Some we could not personally help him with such as shin splints other than telling him to buy another pair of proper shoes. However, we took that opportunity to educate him and others on how massage therapy could boost his and other runner’s performance.
Science has finally validated what Chinese and Swedish evidence has known for years: Massage Therapy helps relieve muscle tension, improves range of motion and promotes circulation. According JoEllen Sefton, Ph.D. in an article to Runner’s World magazine (online), “What massage does…is apply moving pressure to muscles and other tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and fascia (which sheaths muscles like a sausage casing). "That energy softens fascia tissue and makes clenched muscles relax," Sefton says. It also removes adhesions between fascia and muscles (places where the two stick together and restrict muscles' movement). That's especially great news for runners, who rely on limber joints and muscles for pain-free peak performance.”
Massage Therapy helps to reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)- that un-flattering condition that results in walking like a penguin 2 days after a race. When a massage modality is implemented such as sports massage that is spot-specific, there is a 30% less muscle inflammation and then in turn helps with faster athletic recovery. The results? The runner is able to run hard/train harder in less recovery time.
According to research performed at Ohio State, (Even though I'm a Arkansas fan, we will give them a pass in the name of massage) when performing massage on animals the muscles had a 50-60% muscle recovery compared to ones without a massage. The scientific results are so profound that even researchers are implementing massage as their normal weekly routine. Says one researcher, “Even beginning runners can benefit from massage, because alleviating the soreness that comes with starting a new sport makes people more likely to stick with it.”
If you are still unsure whether sports massage or other type of massage therapy is right for you? Check out some of benefits that can help you:
Injury Prevention – Key muscle groups that are flexible run less risk of injury. Your therapist is trained to identify if there is a tight spot that needs to be addressed before it becomes a larger problem.
Injury Treatment – Muscle tears sometimes require weeks of recovery time. Knots also form if the muscles aren’t massaged thoroughly.
Increased Blood Flow – Circulation is important to help blood supply do its work in repairing the body.
Improved Flexibility – Not all athletes realize when some muscles are tight and deep tissue massage will help to loosen muscles before next run. According to a study by Medicine and Science, a study group noticed that after 10 weeks when massage was applied to one leg, there was a 13% increase in strength and flexibility than the un-massaged leg.
The optimum timing of massage is at least once a week or post event, but some runners will choose about 2-3 times per month. Whichever you choose. . . . massage therapy is a great investment for your peak performance. Book Now!