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Athletes Benefit from Therapeutic Massage

Aug 17, 2007
Athletes are always searching for an edge to help them train more effectively and shake off injuries faster. In an attempt to win, athletes push themselves to the limit with speed, endurance, and strength. They push their bodies to the limit. These athletes know that therapeutic massage can help them to avoid serious injury, and, when injured, to speed up their recovery time. Coaches and trainers use massage therapy to improve athletes' performance, and regard it as an important part of athletes' extensive training and preparation to play competitively.

Doctors prescribe therapeutic massage as a complimentary way of treating injuries and illness. Research shows that therapeutic massage not only feels good, it also reduces blood pressure, heart rate, and improves circulation. It is also used to reduce pain, reduce muscle tension and improves range of motion in many patients. Therapeutic massage, used with routine physical training, a healthy diet, and getting the proper rest will help an athlete with the strength and endurance for their sport.

There are several techniques used in sports massage therapies. Because each sport uses a different set of muscles and in a different way, different techniques may be used. Some athletes require a deep Swedish massage that specifically targets a set of muscles.

Other athletes engage in sports that may require a compression massage. This is a rhythmic compression of specific muscles to create a softening effect on the muscles, and is generally used for a warm-up or for work on a specific muscle group.

Cross-fiber massage is often used to reduce adhesions and improve flexibility and muscle repair after an injury. This is a friction technique and creates a stretching and broadening effect in large muscle group sets.

Trigger Point/Tender Point massage uses finger and thumb pressure at specific pressure points to reduce pain and erase muscle spasms. This will promote the easing of restricted movements in the body. Lymphatic massage is used to increase the circulation of the body.

Athletic coaches and trainers believe that sports therapeutic massage can improve sports performance by reducing the chances of injury. Therapeutic massage includes stretching and training for the event. It incorporates deep tissue massage. This massage technique can also improve range of motion in some muscles and improve muscle flexibility. This technique improves performance and shortens the time needed to recover between workouts.

Therapeutic massage is thought to increase the body's own supply of nutrients, helping the body to increase blood flow and helping to increase the metabolic rate and expel the by-products stored up in the body.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Massage.
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