Are you training and finding that you’ve hit a wall in your progress? Running, cross-fit, biking, swimming, hiking or whatever your workout might be, you need to include massage therapy into your routine. I’ve been using massage therapy to help me in my training for triathlons and I always notice a big difference. Today staying active means finding a way to recover and have your body feeling great.
In a article I found in “Men’s Health”, researchers put a sample of men through a strenuous workout. To measure the effects of massage on muscles, they took muscle biopsies before and after exercise, and after 10 minutes of therapeutic massage. In the study I read the massage was given directly following the workout. The massage was noted to impact two genes in the muscle cells. The first gene decreases inflammation caused by exercise. The second gene turned up production of mitochondria in the muscles. Mitochondria are the power houses of cells. They use oxygen and food to generate energy needed by the cells. As muscle cells become adapted to endurance exercise, the number of mitochondria increases. Massage was found to help this process!
The other way to treat sore muscles is ice & ibuprofen can reduce inflammation. These solutions tend to block muscle repair and growth. Massage, however, appears to not only make you feel better, but also speed up muscle recovery. I admit to using both of these but I would much prefer a massage if I can make the time to get one.
Professional athletes have discovered the secret of body work & massage therapy. Tom Brady wants to play well into his forties. James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers is a starting linebacker in the NFL at age 39! With a strict diet, workout regimen, and dedication to bodywork they are able to do it. We see professional athletes take advantage. It’s time we steal some of their secrets for ourselves.
I know as we age there are more aches, pains, and flexibility issues. Massage therapy helps in your recovery, reduce pain, and actually reduces your blood pressure. I completed a triathlon at KING PINE in New Hampshire last weekend. It was rough but I was glad to know I can fall back on the team at Portsmouth Spa. For me I have issues with my calves so Michelle takes the time to put the deep tissue work on my legs to aide in recovery and help with flexibility. Good luck in all your training!