This article is guest blogged by Elise Degrass from MassageTherapy.
Massage therapy has been used for hundreds of years as a form of alternative medicine and a way to promote health and well being. Though many people think of massage therapy as primarily a relaxation device, it’s uses are, in reality, much more diverse. Athletes, in particular, can benefit from massage therapy and use the benefits to make them better and more versatile athletes.
1. Massage therapy increases flexibility.1 For an athlete to maintain optimal performance, he must have a high degree of flexibility. No matter which sport or sports the athlete is involved in, if he can gain more flexibility though massage therapy, then he will have an advantage over his competitors. Since massage therapy stretches the muscle fibers, flexibility is promoted and maintained.
2. Massage therapy improves circulation. With better circulation, the athlete can breath easier and move more smoothly. Since the practice of massage helps with blood flow, the circulation of the athlete will be improved and this will enhance his performance levels.
3. Massage therapy alleviates muscle pain. If an athlete is in pain due to an injury, he will not be playing his best game. With regular massage therapy, muscle pain can be curbed and the athlete can do his best job without being side tracked by pain issues.
4. Massage therapy promotes better sleep patterns. By getting regular massages, an athlete can actually improve the quantity and quality of sleep he is getting. By getting more sound sleep, the athlete is better able to perform at an optimal level.
5. Massage therapy increases relaxation levels. Many athletes have a type A personality and have a hard time relaxing. When an athlete can’t relax and has no real down time, stress can begin to take a toll on his health. By getting massages, he can learn to relax his body and his mind and improve his day to day life.
Athletic massage is a growing business. More and more massage therapists are choosing to enter the field of athletic massage. Since many athletes are now beginning to notice the many benefits of massage therapy, more and more athletic massage therapists are becoming available. In fact, they can be found in the locker rooms of almost any professional sports event for just that very reason.
By having a deep tissue massage at least once per week, athletes can keep their muscles healthy, improve their flexibility, maintain relaxation and have a better sleep cycle. These are only a few of the benefits of massage therapy, but there are many more.
It’s easy to find a professional massage therapist who specializes in athletic massage. By searching online or in the phone book, you can begin your search for the therapist who is right for you. Of course, you can always ask for referrals from other athletes. You may also find out that there is already a massage therapist on staff at your gym or chiropractic office. If this is the case, give them a try. You may be able to find exactly the therapist that you are looking for.
About the Author
Elise Degrass Writes about MassageTherapy for MassageTherapy.net.