How Sore is “Too Sore” for a Massage?

A massage after a vigorous workout unquestionably feels good, reduces pain and helps muscles recover. Athletes and health professionals speak of how it eases inflammation, improves blood flow and reduces muscle tightness.

So, how does massage give this beneficial effect?

Well, vigorous exercise causes tiny tears in our muscle fibers, leading to inflammation, which is an immune reaction, as our bodies get to work repairing the injured cells.

Researchers have found that when a masseur goes to work, the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation, are reduced. They also found that massage stimulated mitochondria, tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy. These are essential for cell function and repair and the stimulation helps our muscles adapt to the demands of increased exercise.

When your body aches, your muscles are tight, swollen, and in desperate need of release.

So when people ask, “Is deep tissue massage safe to get one while you’re still super sore? Or will that pressure make your tender muscles feel worse?”

Our short answer is usually, “Go for it!”

Because a post-workout massage is a great way to flush out the toxic waste your muscles produce during a workout. For the normal workout warrior getting a massage after working out is most beneficial for your body. It helps flush lactic acid build up out of muscle fiber and reduce recovery time.

On the other hand, if you are an athlete about to compete, an invigorating pre-competition massage is great to get you ready. Then a post-event massage to flush toxins and help you relax and recover afterward.

Really Really Sore?

Hold off on a strong, heavy-handed deep tissue massage. If your muscles are very tender to the touch, a traditional Swedish massage would be best because it stimulates blood and lymph circulation, bringing newly oxygenated blood to tender areas. This oxygenated blood helps “flush out” toxic waste in your muscles, which is the cause of typical soreness.

If the traditional Swedish massage turns out to be not enough for your muscle soreness, go for a stronger deep tissue or sports massage, but take note of how your body reacts.

If you feel pain mid-massage, ask your massage therapist to STOP to avoid irritating the muscles further!

Still sore?

You could get another massage as soon as two days after your first, but we recommend waiting five days. Drinking plenty of water and do light stretching to encourage full recovery. You should know that another massage won’t necessarily double-decrease your soreness over this short period of time.

Recovering from an injury?

If you’re injured, back away from the massage table!

There is a difference between being really sore and recovering from a true injury. If you’ve injured yourself recently, such as a pulled muscle, you should wait 24 to 48 hours before receiving a massage. In fact, a deep tissue massage could make matters worse for you and your injury. Instead, simply ice the tender areas and take a rest day to reduce the inflammation.

Every ache, pain, & sore muscle will react differently to massage. Some people may experience nearly instant relief post-massage, others might feel tender in trigger-point areas that were worked repeatedly during the massage. Whatever you’re feeling, as long as it’s not worsening or acute pain, you’re all good.

Book a Massage @ Zen Massage Today! 

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Why Get A Sports Massage?

Sports Massage

Why Get A Sports Massage?

Sports massage is a good choice if you have a specific problem, such as tennis elbow or sore knees from running or biking.

Sports massage has developed over the years to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, to function well during training, and/or recover after a big event. Emphasizing prevention and healing of injuries.

 

Sports Massage is wonderful for athletes, though you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from sports massage. It is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. Massage therapists generally concentrate on a specific problem area you have requested, most likely associated with sports activity of some kind, such as running, tennis, or golf.  The therapist generally focuses in on the problem area—a frozen shoulder or a pulled hamstring, for instance—rather than giving you a full-body massage.

The most important thing with sports massage is that you find a specially trained massage therapist. One who has mastery of a wide range of techniques and knows when to use them. Sometimes men who are new to massage are more comfortable getting a sports massage because it sounds more masculine. That’s fine, even if they don’t have an injury. No matter what type of massage you choose, the therapist should check in with you about what your needs and expectations are for the massage. Many spas used to put sports massage on their menu as a way to appeal to men. As spas have become more sophisticated, however, they realize they don’t list sports massage unless they have therapists with specialized training. If sports massage isn’t listed, an alternative is to explain your objective and ask for a therapist who can achieve that.

What Happens During A Sports Massage?

Sports massage therapists will use a variety of techniques to achieve the desired goal.

There are four types of sports massages:

  • Pre-event sports massage: a short, stimulating massage 15-45 minutes before the event. It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion.
  • Post-event sports massage: given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body’s tissues.
  • Restorative sports massage: given during training to allow the athlete to train harder and with less injury.
  • Rehabilitative sports massage: aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.

The therapist may use Swedish massage to stimulate circulation of blood and lymph fluids, and trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles), and stretching to increase the range of motion. The therapist should also have a good foundation in hydrotherapy modalities including cryotherapy and thermotherapy, which can help with recovery, repair and healing processes. It may also be a good idea to see a movement therapist, who can help you identify and correct the movement pattern that might be causing your injury in the first place.

Sports massage can be an interesting career choice for therapists who want to do it full time. Professional sports teams often have massage therapists on staff to keep athletes’ bodies working at their very best. It helps to have a keen interest in anatomy and physiology, advanced training and experience in sports massage, an interest in sports, and a desire to work with athletes.

Book your Sports Massage with Zen Massage @ http://zenmassage.net/