You’re working hard towards your fitness goal, but you’ve started to feel the muscle fatigue. Your energy is low. You may be close to over-training. Sounds like you need a massage. Not only does a massage promote relaxation and well-being, but it also provides an edge for the serious athlete. That’s because a professional massage increases blood flow prior to a sporting event, removes lactic acid and toxins, and speeds healing.
Touch is the key element of a massage. Using his or her hands and occasionally forearms, elbows and feet, the massage therapist applies fixed or movable pressure to manipulate the soft issues and normalize them. This pressure can be light, medium or deep, depending on your specific needs. Through these skillful modalities, the supply of nutrients and oxygen is increased via improved blood and lymphatic circulation.
Massage therapy can play an important role in the rehabilitation process by freeing adhesions and breaking up scar tissue at the site of injury. Moreover, trigger point stress reduction can reduce spasms and pain in both injured and compensatory muscles. During training, heavily exercised muscles may lose their ability to relax, leading to tightness and loss of flexibility. A massage is an excellent way to combat these effects.
New evidence is also emerging about the wide-ranging benefits of massage therapy with a variety of health conditions. Because 20 percent of all cancer patients in the United States seek massage therapy, researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City decided to put it to the test. The longest (3 years) and largest (including 1,290 patients) study of its kind verifies that massage eases these and other cancer symptoms–at least in the short term. For 3 years, they asked patients who used MSKCC’s own massage therapy program to rate their symptoms before and both immediately and 48 hours after. Patients reported that their levels of anxiety dropped by 52 percent; pain, 40 percent; fatigue, 41 percent; depression, 31 percent; and nausea, 21 percent. A treatment that can relieve cancer patients’ nausea, pain, fatigue, and depression sounds too good to be true. Compared with standard drug therapies for these symptoms, massage was as effective, cheaper, less invasive, and more comforting, not to mention free of side effects.
Regular massage therapy is essential to injury prevention and recovery for many elite athletes, and there is no reason you shouldn’t experience the same level of care while striving towards your own fitness goals. At Windhawk, we help you to determine what type of massage program would best suit your physical condition and health status. When you come in for your first massage, you know you’ll be in good hands.