By Olivia Konn-Moushey
So, what can regular massage therapy do for those of us dedicated to living a fitness lifestyle. In this arena, massage therapy is much more than a mere luxury. It should be regarded as part and parcel of your dedication to living a healthy life. Research establishes that regular massage therapy improves range of motion, reduces recovery time, increases muscle tone, and increases flexibility.
Since massage acts as an “auxiliary heart” by increasing circulation, it thus facilitates the elimination of toxins and other metabolic wastes generated as a byproduct of resistance training. Additionally, massage therapy reduces the time that it takes the body to heal an injury.
An unbelievable case in point is one of my personal training clients. During an incline dumbbell press, she over-extended her shoulder. Not only did the weights come crashing to the ground, worse yet, when she got up off of the bench, she literally could not move her arm. Soreness and pain in her shoulder arrived the very next day putting her training on hold indefinitely. When she phoned me and explained the injury, I surmised that she probably overextended the connective tissue in her shoulder, causing trauma to that area. I was absolutely right.
During a session of deep tissue massage I could feel the tightness in the shoulder joint itself, which not only caused pain, but also limited the joint’s normal range of motion. By frictioning the connective tissue in that area, I increased circulation, which naturally promotes the healing process.
After only about three sessions over a three-week period, the range of motion at that joint returned to normal and my client returned to the gym and resumed her training without incident. So, I suppose that Hippocrates was right way back in the fifth century B.C. when he said that massage will “loosen a joint that is too tight.”
Why You Should Get Regular Massages!
I do not mean to suggest that three weeks will cure any ailment. I am, however, suggesting that an investment in regular massage therapy will ensure that all bodily systems function at an optimal level. And, for those of us dedicated to our training sessions in the gym, regular massage therapy will enhance performance, maximize gains, and reduce your risk for injury. So, regular massage therapy is much more than a mere luxury or a whimsical extravagance. Rather, it is an investment, an investment in yourself… in your health.