Massage is not a treatment loved by everyone. But for those who don’t partake, we recommend you reconsider.
Whilst the skilled hands of a good practitioner can make you feel wonderful, there are more practical and physiological reasons why sports massage may prove to be a great training aid.
There are many methods to ease aching bodies, from taking cold showers and ice baths to the extreme of standing virtually naked in sub zero temperatures. Massage, however, is the most ancient and easily accessible.
The purported effects of massage range from the release of endorphins (happy hormones) all the way to improving recovery. As ever, PerformancePro looks to good solid scientific research to provide us with the real answers.
In various studies where fatigue and muscle damage has been induced under lab conditions, the results have shown little if any improvement in performance or physiological restoration either immediately after massage or within 48 hours. So what’s the point?
Most importantly, it is the psychological and perceived benefits experienced by the majority of subjects who have taken part in massage studies. Almost without exception they report much less pain or discomfort, also know as DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness.
There is a twofold advantage to less DOMS
1) Training feels more comfortable and walking down the stairs after sitting at your desk for hours is bearable.
2) Few of us are elite level athletes, not outside of our own minds anyway! Life is stressful and trying to train with real intensity and keep everything else in our lives going is tough. So feeling less discomfort whilst gaining a sense of well-being, feeling relaxed, supple and mobile are all good things.
On these two points alone massage gets our vote, regardless of what the boffins tell us about the physiology. If you want to feel better and have less discomfort after training, we recommend you book a session soon with your nearest skilled massaged therapist.
Contact PerformancePro to discuss how we can help
Hemming. B, Smith. M, Graydon. J and Dyson. R. Effects of massage on physiological restoration, perceived recovery, and repeated sports performance. Br J Sports Med 2000;34:109-114 doi:10.1136
Hilbert. JE, Sforzo. GE, Swensen. T. The effects of massage on delayed onset muscle soreness. Br J Sports Med 2003;37:72-75