Massage has been an important part to athletes’ for many years and most athletes have learned to appreciate the value of massage. A study conducted by Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (2005), found promising evidence to support the benefit of massage  In this study, a group of cyclists pedaled until complete fatigue and then took a ten-minute rest. During the ten-minute rest period half of the cyclists received a massage while the other half didn’t.

After the rest period, the cyclists were asked to perform knee extensions. The results showed that the cyclists who received massages were 11% stronger than the athletes who did not receive massage. With compelling evidence such as this, it is undoubtable that massage has benefits for athletes.

Maintenance of Muscle –Massage can help improve muscle recovery, which leads to efficient training. Massage also improves the circulation of bodily fluids. With increased circulation, tissues are better able to receive nutrients and other substances that are vital for optimal body functioning. Massage also helps decrease the swelling of muscles and relaxes and stretches sore muscles.

Massage Before Competition -Pre-competition massage can be a tool for increasing or decreasing the stimulation level of nerve cells, ligaments, and joints, which helps in keeping them loose and flexible. This can help to prevent excessive micro-trauma (injury to cell membranes). Massage before a competition focuses on stretching and warming up the tendons and ligaments of the legs and arms.

Massage after Competition -A massage after an athletic event is very relaxing. Most athletes that have massages after their events say this is the best method of relaxation. The massage helps the mind and body to relax. Massages performed after a workout or competition help to relieve the effects of muscular fatigue.

Massage Helps Injuries- Massage has been shown to accelerate the recovery of injured muscles. Massage also allows for a greater range of motion of the injured muscle. Also, be sure the swelling and pain have ceased before undergoing massage therapy.

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