The ancient art of massage has been used throughout the centuries to soothe aches and pains and facilitate the body's own healing abilities. With today's busy, stressful lifestyles, there's never been a better time to take advantage of the benefits of massage therapy.
Massage Benefits include:
- Relieves stress
- Reduces heart rate
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases blood circulation and lymph flow
- Relaxes muscles
- Improves range of motion
- Increases endorphins (the body's natural painkillers)
- May enhance medical treatment
- Helps people feel less anxious and stressed, relaxed yet more alert
- Creates a sense of well-being
- Relieves muscle tension and stiffness
- Strengthens the immune system
- Improves flexibility
- Promotes deeper and easier breathing
- Enhances athletic performance
- Relieves pain
- Improves circulation
- Provides asthma relief
Sports Massage can be characterized two ways: pre-activity and post-activity massage. Pre-activity uses dynamic stretching of all muscles. This allows the connective tissue to work through a full range of motion, reducing possible injury. Post-activity massage focuses on recovering the muscle tissue that may have been impacted doing the particular sport. It involves long strokes and hot stones to flush out the toxins that cause soreness in the muscles and joints.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage releases the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the grain of muscles, tendons and fascia. It is called deep tissue, because it also focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It can help reduce pain, increase range of motion, relieve muscle spasms and improve circulation.
Why Good Tissue Health is Important
Many short, thin fibers make up your muscles, which contract on order and work together to mobilize your muscle groups.
These muscles are attached to your bones by connective tissues, called tendons, enabling them to move your body parts.
Your bones are then connected by tough bands of connective tissue, called ligaments, for added stability. Your ligaments are covered by yet another connective tissue called fascia. All of these connective tissues can be referred to as “soft tissues.”
Soft tissues are really fascinating! They aid in joint mobilization and provide the body with the resilience it requires to execute activities.
Your soft tissues give you the opportunity to do a lot of things, but they still prevent you from overextending yourself. These soft tissues can be damaged by certain stresses, especially those caused by the repeated actions within the athletic activity.
A tear in the tendon causes you to experience a significant amount of swelling and inflammation. Many athletes also experience sprains, which are caused by a ligament stretching farther than intended.
These injuries may occur in response to the intensity of your sport, but they can also occur if muscles simply are too tight before you begin one of your workouts.
Therapeutic massage can help with this, as it relaxes the muscles, and may even prevent some of these injuries from occurring in the first place!
Different kinds of therapeutic massage
There are many different types of massage as well, and our physiotherapist may also recommend these to complement your physiotherapy treatments, including:
- Deep tissue massage. This type of massage loosens up your muscles and their connective tissues.
- Swedish massage. This type of massage relaxes any stiff or tense muscles you may have, allowing for increased blood flow and fluid drainage from swollen areas.
- Myofascial release. This type of massage creates room for tissues that may be trapped by distortions or fascial adhesions, freeing them from constriction.
Sports massage therapy can be used before you even begin your rigorous exercise regimen, targeting the specific muscles and tissues that see the most use for your sport.
By working to mobilize, loosen, and relax these muscles before you train, you can help them stay limber throughout the process. This will decrease your risk of strains, sprains, and ruptures.
Our Massage Therapists are registered with the Canadian Massage and Manual Osteopathic Therapist's Association.
For more information, please visit: CMMOTA