Advantages for Athletes

Tradition of Excellence

Ancient Athenians provided free oil to athletes before competition so they could be massaged before their events[1]. The tradition of using massage to relax before an event and so improve performance goes back thousands of years. And still today, many athletes schedule massages after competition to soothe tired limbs and reduce pain of injuries.

Efficient Recovery and Heightened Performance

Massage therapy can play a positive role in helping athletes recover more quickly and with less pain.  For instance, a 2012 study of professional swimmers concluded that massage therapy “was more effective compared to passive recovery in removing blood lactate.[2]”  Blood lactate levels are indicators of the level of soreness felt by the athletes.

The study also concluded that massage recovery was more effective in improving swimming performance than passive recovery. Better recovery leads to better performance.

Another study noted the impact of massage on decreasing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS),[3] concluding that massage was effective in alleviating DOMS by approximately 30%.

Reduction of Inflammation and Pain from Muscle Injury

Injuries, when they happen, can sideline you for longer than you’d like.  Massage therapy can help with muscle injuries by reducing inflammation and pain.  A 2012 study concludes that “when administered to skeletal muscle that has been acutely damaged through exercise, massage therapy appears to be clinically beneficial by reducing inflammation and promoting mitochondrial biogenesis.”[4]

Support for Degenerative Joint Disease

A 2006 study revealed that massage therapy may benefit those with osteoarthritis of the knee[5], and those positive effects were replicated in a 2012 study[6].  The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index of study participants improved significantly.

If you have a big event coming up in your training – a marathon, a race, a performance – massage therapy can be an important addition to your training and recovery.  Contact us to learn more.