You Just Ran a 10K, Now What?

If you listen to research, the answer is simple: get a massage. A 2013 study reported in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (ISSN1915-257X) polled athletes about their beliefs about and experiences with massage after running a race.

The study included 745 individuals who had completed a 10K running race in under an hour, and tested perceptions about post-race massage. The study showed that 91% of participants who had experienced massage before agreed that massage would benefit muscle recovery following the running race and more than 80% of those who had never had a massage believed it would be beneficial.

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Pre- and Post-event Sports Massage

The role of massage in supporting and enhancing athletic performance is growing. Is there a difference in pre- and post-event massage?

Sports massage is different than the therapeutic or relaxation massage you might be used to. Sports massage is usually performed on a client dressed in loose clothing and involves applying therapeutic massage and stretching to assist an athlete’s performance or speed recovery from an activity. The type of sports massage you receive is based on your goal and when you get your massage in relation to the event.

Pre-Event massage is usually 10-30 minutes long and generally happens the day of and prior to the event. The focus is on preparation for high-intensity activity not to correct dysfunction or reduce stress. Therapists will use compression, kneading, ROM & active stretching, vibration and tapotement–all performed at an “up-tempo” pace. Remember, the goal is get the athlete AMPED UP.  Continue reading “Pre- and Post-event Sports Massage”

When to Get a Sports Massage

Sports massage was originally developed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. Sports massage keeps you flexible and your motions fluid, while helping with the prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons.

Of course, you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage is also great for people with stiffness, minor injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion.

The massage therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area, like neck, shoulders, or lower back, rather than a full-body massage (but there are exceptions).  They borrow techniques from a range of massage modalities, including  Swedish massage, that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids and trigger point therapy to break down muscle knots and increase range of motion. Sports massage can be done on a table or mat with the client in loose-fitting clothes, or disrobed to their comfort level.

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