Massage helps to increase circulation, alleviate stress, and soothe muscles. It has proven beneficial to many chronic conditions such as low back pain, arthritis, and bursitis. It is good for athletes, and for sedentary people.
People often take their bodies to new limits when they exercise. This may involve tearing down muscle fibers. They need to recover for a day or two after exercise, and then build up stronger than ever. Trigger points in muscles and tendons are stress points that may cause muscle soreness and decreased flexibility. They cause pain when pressed, and which may radiate pain to a larger area. They are thought by some to be small areas of spasm.
Trigger points may be caused by mental, emotional or physical stress, such as repeated exercise on a muscle or exercise at a higher-than-normal level or weight or repetition. Heavily exercised muscles may also lose their capacity to relax. This causes chronically tight (hypertonic) muscles, and loss of flexibility. Lack of flexibility is often linked to muscle soreness. This predisposes you to injuries, especially muscle pulls and tears. Blood flow through tight muscles is poor also causes pain. There are several sports massage techniques.
Traditional Western or Swedish massage is currently the most common approach used for conditioning programs. It can be supplemented by other massage therapy approaches including deep tissue, trigger point work, and acupressure. The use of one or more of the following techniques can occur:
Deep Swedish Massage: muscle-specific applications of the standard effleurage, petrissage, vibration, and tapotement techniques;
Compression Massage: rhythmic compression into muscles used to create a deep hypremia and softening effect in the tissues. It is generally used as a warm-up for deeper, more specific massage work;
Cross-Fiber Massage: friction techniques applied in a general manner to create a stretching and broadening effect in large muscle groups; or on site-specific muscle and connective tissue, deep transverse friction applied to reduce adhesions and to help create strong, flexible repair during the healing process;
Trigger Point or Tender Point Massage: combined positioning and specific finger or thumb pressure into trigger or tender points in muscle and connective tissue, to reduce the hypersensitivity, muscle spasms and referred pain patterns that characterize the point; and
Lymphatic Massage: stimulation of specialized lymphatic-drainage pathways, which improves the body's removal of edemas and effusion.
Regular sports massage can: reduce mental and emotional stress levels; reduce pain; reduce the chance of injury; improve range of motion and muscle flexibility; shorten recovery time between workouts; maximize the supply of nutrients and oxygen through increased blood flow; and enhance elimination of metabolic by-products of exercise.
Disclaimer: None of the information in this blog is intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult a physician before taking part in an exercise plan, sport, physical therapy, or massage.
Some of the information from this blog was obtainedfrom: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/ohe/library/mental/massagebenefits.htm and http://www.holistic-online.com/massage/mas_sports.htm.
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