Massage Therapy: manual manipulation of soft body tissue (muscles, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person's health and well being.
Athlete: a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise. . .that's you!
If you are an athlete, how often do you get massages? Once a week, month or once every 3 months? Well, I am here to tell you that you should get a massage as often as you can and add it to your fitness routine. If you workout 3-6 times a week, you need to make sure that someone is massaging those muscles once every two weeks OR at least once a month!
Massage therapy has been used by elite athletes for many years. So much so, massage therapists are a specifically hired to be a part of their athletic staff. Even some of your favorite rock stars that live on the road, working concert to concert have their own personal massage therapist to keep their muscles in mobile and prevent future injuries while performing.
Whether you are a runner, multi-sport athlete or a rock star, getting a massage will keep you moving and performing at your best.
This past weekend I got my massage on with Kristen Ogden at Indigo Dragon in Encinitas, CA. Kristen is a massage therapist who loves to work with athletes and/or anyone who is active in various types of sports. She is extremely familiar with how the body works in motion and her style of massage reflects that. Kristen moves and stretches the body as she begins to massage each area. It helps her find your problem areas and get deeper to help soften fascia tissue and relax clenched muscles.
When I went to visit Kristen my lower back and entire left side was extremely tight. It was so bad that I could not stand up straight without feeling extreme pain. What had happened was. . .I had strained my back from moving boxes, working and teaching classes two days in a row. Yes, I overworked my body. Kristen listened, put together a massage routine catered to my needs and started to work immediately on the obvious problem areas. Kristen was able to find and remove adhesions between fascia and muscle tissue, locate pressure points in related muscles to relieve muscle stiffness AND found other areas that had a lot of knots that I was not aware of. Kristen also used a technique called cupping along the left side of my back to mobilize blood flow. When I left, I was able to stand straight up, walk normally and felt no pain shooting through my lower back and left glute! It was GONE. Thank you, Kristen!
If you are not convinced, check out the list of massage therapy benefits below!
Benefits of Massage Therapy:
- Relaxes the muscles
- Provides a better range of motion
- Relaxes clenched muscles
- Helps to prevent future injuries
- Reduces the intensity of DOMS-Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
- Increase the number of white blood cells that help fight off infection
- Decreases the "stress hormone", cortisol
- Increases the balance of your body
Massage therapy should be a part of your regular fitness routine. I would suggest booking an appointment after one of your harder workouts or big event (marathon, 5K or athletic competition). If you can afford a massage every week or two, that is fantastic! I highly recommend that you get a massage 2-4 times a month. It's a great way to get your body moving in it's full range of motion and familiarize yourself with what your body can/can not do! If you want more information on Kristen at Indigo Dragon you can contact her at indigodragoncenter.com!
Please note if you have chronic back pain or imbalances in your body, seek professional help first. Talk to your doctor, physical therapist or personal trainer. They can direct you to a massage therapist that can work for you!