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What Is A Sport Massage Good For, Anyway?
When hearing about a new form of therapy or activity, the human mind starts to produce questions. What is it? What is it good for? Can it help me? Can it hurt me? This is no different in the case of physio-medicine either. While most of us know that a massage feels nice, we may not see the different kinds of massage as having any medical benefits. At most, massage is seen as a sensual thing, akin to foreplay, and this is partially due to the fact that massage deals with the stimulation of nerves (also, the shady nature of certain Thai massage parlors also probably helped to contribute to this stereotype).
But massage is so much more than just a way to relax and get prepared before sexual activity; it has numerous physical benefits, can rehabilitate, can prevent injuries, and can do wonders for flexibility and performance. Let us see in what ways massage can help you, from a strictly medical point of view.
Sports massage is a type of massage that deals exclusively with the neuromuscular and skeletal system, designed specifically to rehabilitate or ease pain and discomfort. If you have a chronic soreness of the neck or back, or some muscle has become painful from sports activity or repeated use during work, this is the type of massage for you. Athletes usually use it when they have become injured as a part of their recovery process.
This type of massage can also help to expel waste materials and excess amounts of pus, water or lactic acid build up in and around the muscles, so it can really help with an over worked, over stimulated, sore and/or stiff muscle.
Massage aids recovery, but it can also speed up the recovery time. As the muscle is stimulated, the body feels that it is in use, and treats the muscle as if it were being used actively, and does not allow for the muscle or tendon to atrophy.
Massage Improves Performance
But healthy muscles can also benefit from a good massage on a regular basis, too. By being stimulated manually, muscles can enhance their performance, and this is a good thing if you are an athlete, have a job that involves physical labor, or perform any regular physical activity, and would like a little bit more for the musculature you already have.
Far from over exerting the muscles, the reason for the boost in performance is because the muscle will be in better condition after being stimulated by the massage, and thus will be better able to handle tasks.
These are the reasons a sports massage is a good idea, and these are the things it is good for. As the reader can see, massage has a very wide field of application, and can be used for pretty much anything that is related to the use and maintenance of musculature.