Massage and bodywork is a great way to increase your athletic performance. Along with stretching, it can work to open the muscle and connective tissue so that you move more freely and have better range of motion. It creates more body awareness so that you know where your weaknesses are and learn to listen to your body. And massage and bodywork can help your body recover more quickly after an event or injury.
Massage works in the muscle and fascia to release tension, and break up scar tissue and knots. Regular massage especially becomes valuable, as the everyday wear and tear of working out is dealt with as it comes up, before it becomes lodged in your tissue.
Regular massage also creates a more intimate relationship with your own body. You may not think of having a relationship with your body, but your body is trying to communicate with you, and you will benefit from learning to listen to it. If you can find out about a possible weak area in your body and change your workout to support a healing period, you may avoid a serious injury and setback in your performance.
As I massage your body, you will feel areas that are more sensitive. Those areas are often not noticeable on a daily basis, until they become inflamed and possibly cause a slow-down in your workout or event plans. If caught early, you can adjust your workout, your body mechanics, or your stretching to head off the problem before it becomes unmanageable.
Ideally, connective tissue is shiny and smooth, making it easy for two surfaces to slide effortlessly against each other as you move. However, your body is constantly creating extra fibers which can create a 'sticky' surface that doesn't slide smoothly. Massage and bodywork, along with stretching, break that extra film up and keeps you moving freely.
Massage and bodywork creates more blood-flow, which brings oxygen-rich blood to the area, and aids in recovery. Other benefits, such as mental and emotional, are common for athletes receiving regular massage. There is value in quieting the mind and relaxing.
Bodywork such as Connective Tissue Massage and Structural Integration can help athletes achieve better body alignment so that they can perform more efficiently. As the body is aligned, and strain is taken out, the joints will operate properly, with less twist. This will avoid short and long term wear and tear on the joints, reducing injuries and leading to better performance and more longevity in your chosen sport.
Let me know if you would like to discuss adding massage or bodywork to your athletic self-care program. We can work together to form a treatment protocol to fit your needs.
About the author: Stephanie Bish owns 'Blissful Body by Stephanie' in Ely, MN; also serving Babbitt, Virginia, Tower, and the Arrowhead Region. As a Massage Therapist, Structural Integrator, and Reiki Master Teacher, she enjoys guiding people on their path to well-being.
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