Take the time, get a Massage!

This is something I used to do on a regular basis (I was spoiled and had a local friend getting her massage therapy licence and she came to me) but when that easy option wasn’t available anymore I quit having a massage.  I’ve had 2 or 3 in the last couple years but there was a time I would get them every other month for a good stretch.  They seriously help me and my husband.

I hold all of my tension in my shoulders, I work at a computer, we all use our phones (and tilt our heads down) and my troublesome hips.  I’ve written about my hips before.  I’m working on strengthening my glutes and pelvic floor to continue helping with that.

So a couple days ago I noticed a tight spot in my right shoulder and didn’t think anything about it.  I put my heated rice pack on it and went to bed.  I woke up with a much bigger pain in my entire shoulder.  I worked all my home massage, heat and stretching magic that I know and I got it pretty good.  Well I went to bed that night and woke up hurting just as much again.  I talked to a good friend of mine who gets regular massages and got an appointment where she goes.  I went to Massage Envy in Newnan if you were wondering.

After a 90 min, full body massage I feel so much better.  My therapist focused on my neck, back and shoulders but did not neglect my legs and hips.  I still have one spot that is tight and sore but I feel so much better.  I will work on that one spot in my shoulder and should be able to take care of it.  But if you need more data, information or justification to why you should get a massage (what??  my word isn’t good enough LOL) then check out this article – https://www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Therapy-for-Those-Who-Exercise.html

It’s from the American Massage Therapy Association.  I have included the entire article but if you want more info or the references cited then check out the link I included.


Massage Therapy for Those Who Exercise

Approved October 2011

Position Statement

It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that those who participate in exercise programs, as well as athletes in training, can benefit from massage therapy.

Background Information

Millions of people around the world play sports and exercise, from the elite professional athlete to the novice just starting a walking program for general health and wellness benefits.  Exercise is recommended for everyone. Although other government groups in the past have recommended exercise and fitness, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the first official U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines in October 2008, as the official guidelines of the U.S. government. The Guidelines indicate that some activity is better than none, and then go on to make several specific recommendations:

  1. Moderate amounts of physical activity provide substantial health benefits for all adults. This dose is defined as 150 minutes/week of moderate intensity activity such as walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity/week such as jogging or vigorous sports.  Furthermore, this moderate dose can be obtained by mixing some days of moderate intensity and some days of vigorous intensity, with one minute of vigorous equaling two minutes of moderate intensity. For this combination, 150 minutes is the goal.
  2. Additional health benefits can be obtained by doing more than the moderate dose. This higher target is described as 300 minutes of moderate intensity, 150 minutes of vigorous intensity, or combining moderate and vigorous intensity.
  3. All adults should participate in 30 minutes of strength building exercise on two days of the week. These exercises should engage all major muscle groups.
  4. Children and adolescents should participate in 60 minutes of physical activity each day.  Most of this should be moderate to vigorous intensity activity, and should include vigorous activity at least three days/week. It also is recommended that children and adolescents participate in muscle-strengthening three days/week and bone-strengthening activities at least three days/week.1

Sports massage can be used to improve athletic performance, speed recovery, and can be utilized by all individuals who participate in any athletic and/or exercise program to help improve conditioning and maintain peak performance. Many professional and collegiate athletic programs employ or contract with massage therapists, and sports massage has been sought for many years by athletes of differing backgrounds for multiple reasons.2, 3, 4, 5  With the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines being very clear that activity is essential for people to be healthy, sports massage can be recommended to those individuals who participate in exercise programs as well as professional and collegiate athletes.

Research has shown that in relation to exercise and athletic participation massage can:*

  • Reduce muscle tension4, 18, 19
  • Help athletes monitor muscle tone4, 19
  • Promote relaxation4, 18, 19
  • Reduce muscle hypertonicity4, 18, 19
  • Increase range of motion4, 14, 18, 19
  • Improve soft tissue function4, 18
  • Support recovery from the transient immunosuppression state6
  • Support the recovery of heart rate variability and diastolic blood pressure after high-intensity exercise.7
  • Decrease muscle stiffness and fatigue after exercise8, 18, 19
  • Improve exercise performance8, 9, 18, 19
  • Decrease delayed onset muscle soreness10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
  • Be the most efficient intervention for maintaining maximal performance time in subsequent exercise tests when combined with active recovery from maximal exercise12
  • Reduce serum creatine kinase post exercise13
  • Reduce swelling17, 19
  • Reduce breathing pattern disorders18
  • Enhance athletic performance4, 18, 19
  • May help prevent injuries when massage is received regularly18, 19

Individuals who participate in exercise and athletic programs who seek enhanced performance, improved conditioning, faster recovery, injury prevention, and assistance in maintaining peek fitness can benefit from massage therapy given by professional massage therapists working within their scope of practice.

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