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Athletes, Get a Massage

Dec 14, 2007
Sports of any type can put extra stress on your body and can result in sore muscles. Massage can be very beneficial in helping to prepare you before an event and relax your muscles after strenuous exercise. It can also be used for recovering from injury and to maintain your muscles for peak performance. There are several ways that this can be achieved.

Techniques that can be used: There are quite a few different techniques that can be used; pettrisage, friction, effleurage, compression, shaking, vibration, cross-fiber friction, direct pressure, broadening strokes, stretching and range of motion.

Different reasons for using massage - there are different reasons for massage in sports. It can be used for:

A warm up
To increase blood flow
Stimulate neurological pathways
To help you recover from exertion
Increase flexibility
Improve strength
Improve posture

When massage can be used:

Before an event: The reason for this will be to warm up the muscles in preparation for the event and increase blood flow. This in turn will lead to increased flexibility and cut down on the discomfort that can be experienced with overexertion of muscles when they are used in strenuous exercises. Techniques that can be applied may include; friction, compression, shaking and stretching.

After an event: This will help the body recover from exhaustion brought on by heavy usage of certain muscles. This will be important to avoid stiffness and discomfort that can occur with intense usage of certain muscles. Techniques for this might include; effleurage, pettrisage, compression, broadening strokes and range of motion.

Healing an injury: to promote healing and strengthen the muscles. An injury can be quite mild or a major problem. Effleurage, compression and cross-fiber friction can be used with these patients.

Maintaining good muscle tone: massage therapy can be used for maintenance when an athlete is not in full training. This can be done in an off-season. It is usually tailored to a particular athlete on an individual basis. This can be a valuable time to work on strengthening and healing muscles after an injury, while the athlete does not need to actively play their sport.

Massage therapy can be very helpful for athletes. Whether it is for a warm up and preparing for an event or preventing stiffness and the after effects of strenuous exercises, massage is very beneficial for those involved in sports. Even if you just want to stay fit and are taking minor exercises massage therapy can still be useful.
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