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The Value of a Sports Massage PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sara Elliott   
Monday, 06 February 2012 09:33

The Value of a Sports Massage
Jamie Adams from Mitchell's Salon & Day Spa shares secrets from a massage therapist on sports massages and what type of massage is best for the brave individuals preparing for the Flying Pig.

 

Massages are a great way to relax and wind down after we've been stressed out. Just let the therapist do the work, and lay there listening to relaxing music and taking in therapeutic smells. Besides the relaxing massage, there are other alternatives, especially for athletes. These are sports massages.

 

One way of looking at a sports massage is in area-specific spots, like "quads and calves for runners or shoulders for a quarterback or pitcher," says Jamie Adams, managing massage director for Mitchell's Salon & Day Spa. When we train, "tiny micro tears occur in the muscles and when they heal, the scar tissue may adhere to the surrounding connective tissue," Adams says. "When we build up too many of these 'adhesions,' the muscle will become bound and unable to move freely."

 

This makes our muscles work much harder than they need to and will eventually make them fatigue more easily. An area-specific massage will help to break up the adhesions and "push any built up waste products that may be built up in your muscle," Adams says. This is a tough massage, so you will have to consider a recovery time of three to four days, so you would not want to get a massage like this the week of an event.

 

There is also a massage that will help you the week of an event, known as a pre- or post-event massage. This massage will "help warm up the muscles before the race or game and cool the muscles down afterward," Adams says. Putting your body through the physical endurance of an event can wear it down and tire it out, so getting a pre- or post-event massage will help "lessen the soreness and recovery time for athletes.

 

When looking at getting a sport massage versus a regular massage, there are a couple things to look at. The difference is that a regular massage will focus on counteracting the stress reflex that our bodies go through when we are stressed out. "Our bodies have the same reaction to all stresses," Adams says. "It doesn't matter if it is a deadline at work, a traffic jam or being chased by a hungry grizzly bear. The body releases the same hormone cocktail of adrenaline, epinephrine and cortisone to help you deal with stressful situations." This combination of hormones will push our bodies and wreak havoc when we are swirling them around five out of seven days a week or more.

 

Many of you are starting to prepare for the Flying Pig Marathon and should really consider incorporating a massage into your training program. As you start to increase your mileage, you're going to be pushing your body further and further, causing either stress or some of those small tears in your muscles. A massage will help to calm the stress and help your body recuperate from training.

 

If you want to get a sports massage as a part of your training for the Flying Pig, know that you can get a sports massage as often as your body can handle it. Make sure you consider the recovery time for the sports massage, because you don't want your muscles to be too sore when you get the massage. There is a higher point of pressure for a sports massage, and you don't want that to become too painful on your body. During the peak of your training, Adams says it is best to get a sports massage once a week and when you are in downtime to get one once a month for maintenance.

 

Even if you aren't training for the Flying Pig, you can still find benefits in getting a sports massage. A sports massage isn't just for people who participate in sports, but for anyone who may have a physical job or hobby that puts pressure on his or her body. Even Adams says he is in "dire need of massage work after his wife makes him pull weeds out of the flower beds."

Sara Elliott -

Sara is the assistant editor at Cincy Chic. Send her an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Last Updated on Monday, 06 February 2012 13:46
 

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