Post Exercise Massage: More Than a Luxury

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MassageTherapy

Massage Therapy is a practice that is gaining more attention in both the fitness and the medical field. It’s no longer simply a way to “spoil yourself” while on vacation. Massage therapy has grown in leaps and bounds in its value in both fields.

Recently, a number of studies were performed to examine more closely how massage therapy following exercise can benefit the body. Here are some of the findings from these studies:

  • By reducing the severity of delayed onset muscle soreness by 20-40%, massage can help muscles to recover their function more quickly.
  • Muscles massaged after exercise have fewer damaged fibers, and a minimal sign of white blood cells, demonstrating a reduced need for the body to repair damage.
  • A molecule responsible for inflammation (called cytokines) has also been shown, reflecting reduced swelling and limited soreness following exercise. Excessively high levels of cytokines have been shown to contribute to be linked to cardiovascular disease. Massage therapy reduces the number of cytokines in the body.
  • Massage has also been shown to increase levels of mitochondria in the cell. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cells in the body. Aerobic exercise actively increases mitochondrial levels in a cell, and massage has been shown to help enhance this process even more.
  • An increase in immune system function.
  • A decrease in levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the blood stream.

 

Aside from all of these great benefits, receiving a Sports Massage is a great way to increase flexibility and range of motion, especially through the shoulders, hips, legs, and neck. A Deep Tissue massage can be extremely beneficial in helping reduce symptoms from things such as: plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, whiplash, low back pain, piriformis syndrome, and more.

With the active lifestyles that we lead, massage therapy can be a great way to keep you in optimal health and function. If you have never receive a massage before, or if you have an issue that you’re currently working with, and you’re wondering if massage can help, feel free to get in touch!

Interested in learning more about these studies? Here is a link to the studies referred to:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22301554

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1250256/

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Want to schedule a massage? Email Katie at Katie@4afsfit.com

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