Sports Massage for Female Athletes

Female Athletes Like endorphins!

My style of Deep Tissue Massage releases the body’s natural painkillers whereby it stimulates the release of endorphins, the morphine-like substances that the body manufactures, into the brain and nervous system….kind of like a “Runners High” or a parasympathetic state “rest and digest” of mind. You will need to book an appointment for at least 1 1/2 hours or more.

Massage Therapy and the Female Athlete

All you gals that train hard, play team sports, work out, do yoga, pilates, lift weights, run, swim, climb, dance, ski, surf, skate or participate in whatever sport need to take care of those sore or injured muscles and get a massage on a regular basis. Deep tissue massage will help those sore muscles to heal faster and get rid of all those sore bumps/muscles in your body like. So what are you waiting for …call ☎ Nicola, LMT. I can provide you with a healing touch that not only feels fantastic but will also give you the results you are looking for! I have many different types of female and male clients and I adapt each massage session to each different body type to help heal those sore muscles so that you can keep participating in your sport.

Click here to see what my clients say:

What’s your sport?

Some types of massage therapy are instrumental in helping athletes recover from injuries, including injuries sustained as a result of low body weight and over-exercising. Massage therapy can also help female athletes relax. Lowering levels of physical and mental stress can assist the female athlete in feeling better overall. Finally, massage therapy can help female athletes feel better about themselves. They might become more comfortable with their bodies, and learn to appreciate their strengths and athletic skills. Massage also releases endorphins, or feel-good hormones, that can replace the euphoria often caused by starving. Whole-body relaxation can also contribute to an improved sense of self when the athlete feels her life is under control, she might no longer feel the drive to focus on controlling her weight and appearance.

Athletes attest to the fact that sports massage therapy improves their performance in their chosen sport while bringing a host of other health benefits, as well. For many years now, sports massage therapy has been recognized as an important part of almost all types of sports training.

Scientific research has shown that sports massage therapy can help prevent injury, increase flexibility, improve endurance, delay the onset of fatigue and hasten recovery of athletes. When used in preparation and training before athletic events, sports massage therapy enables athletes to give peak performance in competition. Afterward, sports massage therapy helps them recover from fatigue and heal faster in case of injury.

Any athlete or sports enthusiast can gain the same benefits from sports massage therapy. They should remember, though, to let the massage therapist know what particular sport they are involved in so that the massage therapy can be customized to the specific needs of that sport. They should also tell the massage therapist of any body parts that are giving them trouble so that these problems can be addressed properly.

Massage is Good for Athletes’ Muscles

Aug. 22, 2008 — Researchers are confirming what serious athletes have long believed: Swedish massage immediately after intense exercise helps muscles recover.

To test the validity of this common practice in the sports world, scientists did studies on a team of six rabbits. Each rabbit’s hind legs were exercised; one of each rabbit’s exercised legs was then massaged and the other was not. The massaged muscles fared better, according to the study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The rabbits had their muscles moved in a way to simulate exercise. The focus was on intense eccentric exercise, which is when muscles contract and lengthen at the same time. A device forced the sedated rabbits in a repetitive motion designed to mimic how a human’s legs are exercised.

After the exercise regimen, one leg’s muscles received a mechanical treatment that was supposed to imitate Swedish massage, considered the most popular style of massage with athletes. The rabbit’s other muscle did not receive massage, but was rested after the simulated exercise routine.

The massaged muscles recovered significantly more function and strength after the four-day trial. Also, the muscles that were not massaged had more damaged muscle fibers and more white blood cells, which can indicate inflammation. The massaged muscles weighed less than the rested muscles, suggesting the massages prevented swelling.

“There is potential that this continuing research will have huge clinical implications,” said Thomas Best, a professor of family medicine at Ohio State University and senior author of the study. “If we can define the mechanism for recovery, the translation of these findings to the clinic will dictate how much massage is needed, for how long and when it should be performed after exercise.”

SOURCES: Best, T. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2008; vol 40. News release, Ohio State University.

Massage after Exercise may Speed Muscle Recovery – Study Finds Sports Massage has a Positive Effect

Do sports massage after intense exercise speed muscle recovery? While athletes of every kind use sports massage, the hard research into whether and how it works has been sparse. But a 2008 study by Ohio State University researchers found evidence that Swedish massage improved the time it took for the muscle to recover and the massaged muscles had less damage and less evidence of swelling and inflammation.

Massage Study Tests Muscle Recovery

The four-day study was performed on rabbits rather than humans. They were sedated and their muscles put through simulated exercise. The test group of rabbits then received simulated massage while a control group didn’t get a massage. The massage imitated Swedish massage techniques, which are the most popular for sports massage with long strokes, kneading, friction, and joint movement. After the exercise and massage, the researchers tested the muscle tissues of all of the animals. The specific muscle tested was the anterior tibialis, which in humans is the shin muscle that often complains about shin splint pain when you begin or change your walking program.

Massaged Muscles Showed Improved Recovery

The difference in strength recovery between massaged muscles was significant – 60% strength compared to 15% for the non-massaged muscles. The researchers also saw that the massaged muscles had fewer damaged muscle fibers and no sign of white blood cells present to repair muscle damage. The massaged muscles showed less sign of swelling, weighing 8% less than the non-massaged muscles.

Should You Get Sports Massage?

This study suggests there is a benefit to sports massage after a hard exercise workout. Walkers training for a half marathon or marathon may benefit from sports massage after their long workouts.

Sources:

Butterfield TA, Zhao Y, Agarwal S, Haq F, Best TM. “Cyclic compressive loading facilitates recovery after eccentric exercise.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Jul;40(7):1289-96.

A Robertson, J M Watt, S D R Galloway. “Effects of leg massage on recovery from high-intensity cycling exercise.” Br J Sports Med 2004;38:173-176.

What do the Pro Females say about Massage?

Name: Nancy Mason, AVP Beach Volleyball Tour Pro
Hometown: Hermosa Beach, CA.
Country:  USA
College Attended:
Indiana Un.
Presently: A top ranked professional and one of the most experienced players on the tour who ranks 3rd among active players in domestic events.  When teamed with Leanne McSorley in 2001, they handed the first-ever loss to the team of Misty May-Treanor/ Kerri Walsh.

Fitness/Conditioning Tip:
My fitness tip for young athletes is to make sure you give as much effort to “maintenance” as you do to specific training.  Take care of your body by eating properly, stretching, icing, massage and getting plenty of rest.

Below are some quotes from athletes endorsing sports massage.

‘Regular sports massage sessions form an integral part of my preparations for competition’.
– Tegwen Malik, professional squash player.

‘Access to sports massage helps me maintain full and free range of movement’.
– Joanna Meredith, professional dancer, Diversions.

‘Having regular access to a sports masseur/soigneur is an essential part of cycle sport’.
– Julian Winn, Wales National Cycle Coach.

‘Regular sports massage sessions play a vital role keeping me free from injury’.– Matthew Hughes, Commonwealth Games badminton player.

 

Regular Massage can :

  • Maintain the body generally in better condition.
  • Prevent injuries and loss of mobility.
  • Cure and restore mobility to injured muscle tissue.
  • Boost performance.
  • Extend the overall life of your sporting career

Physical effects of Massage

  • Pumping – The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
  • Increased tissue permeability – Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
  • Stretching – Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibers are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
  • Break down scar tissue – Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can affect muscle, tendons, and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
  • Improve tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
  • Opens micro-circulation – Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through more easily.

Physiological effects of sports massage

  • Pain reduction – Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the bodies endorphins.
  • Relaxation – Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching.

Psychological effects of massage

  • Anxiety reduction – through the effects mentioned above relaxation is induced and so reduces anxiety levels.
  • Invigorating – if massage is done with brisk movements such as what would be done before an event then this can produce an invigorating feeling.

Like endorphins?

My style of Deep Tissue Massage releases the body’s natural painkillers whereby it stimulates the release of endorphins, the morphine-like substances that the body manufactures, into the brain and nervous system….kind of like a “Runners High” or a parasympathetic state “rest and digest” of mind. You will need to book an appointment for at least 1 1/2 hours or more.

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to the scope of practice, medical diagnosis or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company or specific massage therapy technique, modality or approach. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.

 

 

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