By Leigh Seeleman, LMT/RM,
Whether you’re a devoted athlete, just starting a fitness program, or a professional dancer, research by the American Massage Therapy Association shows that massage therapy can improve your performance, recovery time and focus as well as reduce your pain levels and prevent injury.
The American Massage Therapy Association states that in relation to athletics and exercise massage can offer the following benefits:
Reduce muscle tension
Help athletes monitor muscle tone
Increase range of motion
Decrease muscle stiffness and soreness after exercise
Enhance athletic performance
Help prevent injuries when massage is received regularly
Massage acts to increase and enhance blood circulation, which in turn helps to reduce soreness, relieve muscle tension, and support a faster recovery. A study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness explains how relaxed muscles post massage can then show “an increase in range of motion and flexibility”. Faster recovery and increased flexibility both can lead to increased athletic performance. Following exercise massage also reduces inflammation and and promotes growth of new mitochondria, which produce energy in the cell. This means that in addition to helping with pain relief and recovery massage can also help build muscles!
Research suggests that occasional massage won’t offer the same benefits as a regular massage program. The benefits of massage are cumulative and one session builds upon the next. While massage therapy is very helpful for supporting recovery from various injuries it is also an excellent part of a preventative maintenance and wellness program for any type of athlete or fitness participant. Talk with your massage therapist about your specific goals and he/she will work with you to design a program that will best support you in staying healthy, having fun, and being awesome in all your athletic and fitness pursuits. Through May 15: enjoy an additional $5 off our New Client Special when you schedule a massage at Six Fishes Chinese Medicine with Ilia or Leigh (first time clients only, total savings is $15).
Buck Institute for Research on Aging at McMaster University
American Massage Therapy Association
Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Leigh Seeleman LMT/RM is the primary massage therapist at Six Fishes Healing Arts at the 15th St. office. She began her professional massage therapy and Reiki practice in 2009. Her Reiki sessions promote balance, relaxation, encourages the body’s natural ability to heal and can offer spiritual support. She specializes in Therapeutic Massage, Prenatal Massage, Oncology Massage, Myofascial Release and Usui Reiki. In addition, she integrates trigger point therapy, neuromuscular therapy and deep tissue massage. You can read her full bio and schedule an appointment