Benefits of Massage for Athletes – London Olympics 2012
Often massage is still seen as a luxury and is used very infrequently. many athletes will still wait until every single muscle has seized up and muscles and tendons are rock hard before seeking out some releif through massage therapy.
If you wait until that point, you will get some brief relief from your ailments. However, for an athlete at any level, the real benefits arise from frequent massage therapy and from working with a massage therapist that understands sports massage and your body. If you are serious about your sport and performance, it is essential to integrate massage therapy into your training program.
Deep Tissue Massage Therapy and in particular, Raynor Massage, has many benefits for athletes and in particular athletes in training for a big event like the Olympics. Massage can help speed up recovery after an intensive day of training. Massage will increase blood flow to the muscles which helps speed the healing process by flushing out the metabolic waste. Regular massage brings awareness to areas of the body that are not responding as they should be, giving the athlete a chance to reconnect his mind with his body.
How often should an athlete in training receive massage?
The ideal frequency for massage therapy is twice a week for an elite athlete, once a week minimum. For a recreational athlete, it would be once a week to once a month based on need.
It is important to establish a relationship with your massage therapist in a similar way that you develop a trusting relationship with your trainer. This allows the therapist to get to know your body so they are best able to work out with you what type and depth of massage is best for you for your training that week.
When possible, schedule your pre-event massage early in the week before the event and then definitely get a post-race massage straight after the event or the next day.
Preventing injuries with regular massage is a great way to keep your body fine-tuned and running like the world-class machine that it is!
Raynor Massage for athletes in training
As an advanced Raynor Massage therapist I also recognise that residual tension is not only caused by hard training but that emotional tension and stress in particular is also very much a cause. It is for this reason that my Raynor Massage goes way beyond what would be classed as a regular sports massage. As well as providing deep tissue work I will also be aware of your emotional stress and will work with you to help release this. Unlike many massage therapists I will work deep into areas that hold the tension including the hands, head and feet. Astonishingly these are areas that some Sports Massage therapists will miss completely.
Massage was a part of the Olympics since the beginning!
Starting in about 800 BC, after the philosophies and practices of the East made their way into ancient Western civilizations, massage was being practiced in Greece. Olympic athletes used massage to keep their muscles in shape. One of the primary uses for massage during ancient Greek times was to tend to the athletes who trained for the entertaining competitions that took place in the past, such as the Olympics. Massage served as a way to keep the Olympic athletes bodies in prime condition.
At that time, the doctors of ancient Greece would ofcombined herbs and oils with their massage techniques as a way to treat various ailments. The woman also looked towards massage and the use of aromatic oils as a way to keep their skin looking beautiful.
Massage and Hippocrates
Further information regarding the way ancient Greeks used massage to their advantage can be found in the writings of Hippocrates, who during the 5th century BCE, discussed how friction could be used to treat physical injuries. He was also known to guide his colleagues in the medical world on how to make the most out of rubbing the body in order to promote healing. Hippocrates is also responsible for encouraging people to embrace a combination of massage, good eating habits, exercise, rest, fresh air, and music so that they could rejuvenate the body and maintain their health.