» Benefits and Effects of Massage

Benefits and Effects of Massage

A few time now I’ve heard that getting regular sports massages had preventative benefit to getting injury.  So instead of taking this at face value, I wanted to look into this a bit more and find out for myself if this was true (you never know this could be ploy my the massage industry to get people to take massages more!).

So, I did a quick search in google and found some interesting facts (try it yourself, just type in “Benefits and effects of massage”.  In general sports massages help to prevent injuries and loss of mobility.  It can also restore and cure mobility to injured muscles, increase performance to keep you in a general better condition.

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Well, the next question is how does it do all this?

PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF MASSAGE.

  • Pumping – When a stroking movement is used it sucks fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels.  A vacuum is created by increasing the pressure in from of the stroke.  This is important in tight or damaged muscles as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, reducing the amount of vital nutrients the muscle needs to repair and for energy.
  • Increasing tissue permeability – A deep massage opens up the pores in tissue membranes, enabling fluids and essential nutrients to pass through.  This has the effect of removing waste products, like lactic acid and encourages the muscle to take up oxygen and nutrients which aids and quickens recovery.
  • Stretching – Massaging can stretch tissues that can’t be reached in the usual method.  Muscle fibres can be stretched lengthwise as well as sideways.  Thus releasing tension or pressure build up.
  • Improves tissue elasticity – Over time hard training to cause tissue to become hard and inelastic.  This can be a reason why hard training may not provide the desired improvements.  Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
  • Opens micro-circulation – As well as increasing blood flow to tissues (as does exercise), massage opens or dilates the blood vessels and by stretching them enable nutrients to pass through more easily.

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF SPORTS MASSAGE.

  • Pain reduction – By reducing tension and waste production which can cause pain, massaging relaxes and flushes out the muscle and releases endorphins in the body.
  • Relaxation – Muscles relax through heat generation, circulation and stretching.  Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and worth are stimulated causing reflex relaxation.

PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF MASSAGE.

  • Anxiety reduction – Through the effects discussed previously massages induces relaxation so reducing anxiety levels.
  • Invigorating – When using brisk movements a massage can produce an invigorating feeling, as when done prior to an event.

On previous blog posts you might have seen a photoshoot I’ve done with Christos from Olympus Sports Injury – I asked him for his opinion on this, and he said :-

 

“Benefits of massage therapy

(1) increase blood circulation
(2) relax muscle tension and breaks down the stiffness between muscles that limit your movement
(3) prevents joint stiffness and early arthritis
(4) keeps knees healthy 
(5) removes chemical products of tiredness from the system 
In general the benefits are exceptional. Every day life brings tension in certain muscles that are crucial in or posture. As a result posture changes and pain slowly comes in as a result of this. 
The best thing is to get our posture checked and report any niggles to specialists on this subject. 
Prevention is cure 🙂 
Christos Christofides 
BSc (HONS) PGD
Director

OLYMPOS Sports Injury Consultation”

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I think the facts above speak for themselves – if you’re looking to keep your body in tip top condition and help prevent, or keep existing injuries at bay, then regular massages look like the way to go!!

Hope you have found the article useful, why not leave a comment on here or my Facebook / Twitter?

Thanks,

Mark.

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