It’s that time of year again – the weather is ideal for being outdoors and physically active. While we may be aware that proper body mechanics, hydration and stretching are importantto keep our bodies healthy, how many know that massage therapy can benefit athletic performance? Vlada Yaneva, Massage Therapist, highlights some points to keep in mind when using massage therapy to help increase your competitive edge:
1. During training season, massage therapy can help lower chances of injury and restore balance of the musculoskeletal system through heat, pressure and stretching.
2. A 15 to 30 minute session before performing athletic activities will raise body temperature and increase range of motion. A therapist can focus on the area that will require exertion during the athletic activity.
3. Therapeutic massage within an hour after activity will help relieve muscle cramps, reduce edema by restoring the natural blood and lymph flow, and speed up the recovery process.
4. If you have an injury such as a strain or sprain, remember RICE – rest, ice, compression, elevation. After 48 to 72 hours you could use massage to reduce blood stagnation and lactic acid build up, break adhesions and stimulate the neuromuscular pathways. Open wounds and painful muscle tears are contraindications to massage –seek the assistance of your doctor.
5. Different modalities suit different personal styles- Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Myofascial release, Active Release therapy and others.