Massage Therapy for Improving Fitness
By Helen Harris-Bhavnani, RMT
Massage Improves Circulation
One of massage therapy’s many benefits is an increase in the body’s circulation. This occurs simply due to the mechanical massaging of muscles, blood and lymphatic vessels. The blood gets “pushed” through the muscles and tissues and directed back toward the heart. The lymphatic vessels help your muscles to repair and help to heal injuries.
It also helps (through this increased circulation) to maintain proper nutrition of your muscles. Your blood and lymphatic circulation helps to deliver nutrients, white blood cells and oxygen to your muscles. After exercising, your muscles need those nutrients and white blood cells in order to repair and grow as well as to maintain their health. Manual therapies are a great way to increase blood flow, which in turn delivers the nutrients and oxygen your body needs to help repair itself.
Massage Helps Post Workout Recovery
Your RMT can also help you to relax and rejuvenate after a work-out. Muscles that are well nourished and relaxed grow better, function better and are less prone to injuries that may threaten to derail your fitness regimen. A 2016 study found that massage therapy was significantly more effective than no intervention on the post-race recovery from pain and perceived fatigue in long-distance triathlon athletes. If it helps triathletes recover, it can help you too.
So get out there, get your body moving, and take care of yourself by seeing your RMT afterward.
Massage Research Sources:
Kojidi MM, Okhovatian F, Rahimi A, Baghban AA, Azimi H. Comparison Between the Effects of Passive and Active Soft Tissue Therapies on Latent Trigger Points of Upper Trapezius Muscle in Women: Single-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial. J Chiropr Med. 2016 Dec;15(4):235-242. Epub 2016 Oct 11.
Emtiazy M, Abrishamkar M. The Effect of Massage Therapy on Children’s Learning Process: A Review. Iran J Med Sci. 2016 May;41(3 Suppl):S64.
Nunes GS, Bender PU, de Menezes FS, Yamashitafuji I, Vargas VZ, Wageck B. Massage therapy decreases pain and perceived fatigue after long-distance Ironman triathlon: a randomised trial. J Physiother. 2016 Apr;62(2):83-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jphys.2016.02.009. Epub 2016 Mar 23.