Positive Massage Therapy
also offers personal training. Here's an article on why they work so well together from Steven Rice Fitness:
Combining Massage and Personal Training
Two great ways to care for your body are massage
and exercise. The importance of each is familiar, but less well known is how the two complement each other.
In fact they are often both required to resolve common pain, posture, and movement issues. NB: First check with
a medical professional to diagnose the problem.
Massage and other forms of soft tissue
bodywork have benefits including reducing tension in muscles and fascia, and breaking down undesirable adhesions which can
form within the tissues. This release can help restore mobility and range of motion. The body and mind relax and
feel at ease.
Exercise serves to strengthen and build new efficient muscle and connective
tissue by using controlled deliberate stress. The body is energized, and the capacity to deal with unintentional stress
is increased. Together with the physical changes, good exercise develops new motor patterns- neurological conditioning
of how the muscles work together to create movement and stability.
Often muscular pain
and dysfunction are caused by a combination of over-active, shortened muscles in one area and weakened, over-stretched opposing
muscles. Resolving the problem in these cases requires treating both sets of muscles with a combination of massage and
It is also essential that as flexibility in an area increases, the ability
to support and protect the body in that area is also developed. Increasing the range of motion without increasing strength
and control in that range can cause susceptibility to injury and joint dysfunction.
commonly successful strategy is to begin with focused soft tissue work, including massage and facilitated stretching, at the
beginning of the treatment program. This is to alleviate pain and release tissue. Specific corrective exercises
are then added to address muscle imbalances and deficiencies. As progress is made the program transitions to more general
"maintenance" massage and integrated, functional strength training.
the release of massage with structured growth from personal training, soft tissue is remodeled and the body becomes less painful
and restricted, stronger and more mobile, and less likely to be injured.
© 2010 Steven Rice
At the Top of Your
Sports Massage a Must for
By Cathy Ulrich
"It was my first marathon and I'd been fighting a
20 mile-an-hour headwind for most of the race. When I finished, my upper back and hamstrings were so tight I couldn't
stretch them myself," says Colorado athlete Camie Larson. "My husband, Jamie, found me and led me to the massage
line. When I got to the massage therapist, she quickly assessed my condition. She worked on my hamstrings, softening and gently
stretching them until they were loose enough so I could stretch them myself the rest of the day. She also worked on my back
and shoulders, which were tight from battling the headwind. I'm convinced I would have been in big trouble had I not gotten
Larson is just one example of a triathlete and runner who includes
massage in her regular training routine. She commits to a massage every other week during the heaviest part of her training
season and says, "If I get too busy and don't get a massage, I really notice the difference. My legs and shoulders
are tighter and it's much harder to recover from training sessions."
Professional athletes have known
about the benefits of regular massage for some time, but amateur athletes and even weekend warriors find that massage is important
for them, too. Most trainers and coaches advise their clients to get regular massage to enhance workouts, recover from competition,
and rehabilitate injuries.
and Massage Our muscles are
designed to adapt to the demand of strenuous exercise. Athletic training and competition, or even exertion from heavy physical
work, tears down the muscles involved. When muscles are allowed to recover following a workout, they increase their number
of fibers to respond to the demand. This adaptation process builds strength in muscles and in the structural support of the
surrounding soft tissues. It also affects their ability to relax.
massage reduces the risk of injury by maintaining flexibility and range of motion. By helping the body eliminate the metabolic
by-products of a workout, massage shortens recovery time and reduces soreness. In addition, massage improves circulation,
which enhances athletic performance by increasing the oxygen and nutrient supply to the muscles.
Triathletes and runners aren't the only athletes who benefit. Cyclists and winter sports fanatics
are taking to massage as well. A massage therapist can help assess each athlete's problem areas and target these specifically.
to Get Massage Depending on
the athlete's specific sport and physical demands, massage can be targeted to different aspects of the athlete's needs.
Massage is most effective when integrated throughout an individual's training program.
getting regular massages during the training period prior to an event, an athlete can avoid injury, maintain flexibility and
range of motion, recover more quickly from workouts, and reduce fatigue. Depending on how strenuous the training, it may be
important to see your massage therapist weekly or even more often, especially during the heaviest part of your training. Your
massage therapist can work with you to establish a schedule for your needs.
Many formal athletic events, including running races, triathlons, and tennis tournaments, provide onsite massage. Pre-event
massages are usually short (10-15 minutes), and are designed to increase circulation, relax muscle tension, and calm pre-event
jitters. A short massage can enhance performance so the athlete stays relaxed and on his/her game plan. For pre-event massage,
talk to the therapist about your massage history. Bodies used to massage will react differently than those unaccustomed to
Post-Event Massage Recovery is the primary purpose of post-event massage. Athletes push themselves
harder during an event than while training. For example, during a marathon most athletes run a greater distance during the
event than they've ever run during their training. A massage afterwards is key. In Camie Larson's case, her massage
therapist was able to relax her muscle tone, improve her circulation, and restore her flexibility. This allowed for a quicker
recovery and return to training without the stiffness and soreness she would have had otherwise. Post-event massage can be
that first assessment for potential injuries, and more serious medical conditions (heat exhaustion or hypothermia) may be
identified early and treated promptly.
Rehabilitation Muscle strains, bruises from contact sports, and chronic soreness need special
attention. Whether encountered during training or during an event, massage is a key component in assisting an athlete to return
to their sport sooner. Massage therapists can work closely with doctors and athletic trainers to establish a schedule for
therapy. Specific manual techniques reduce scar tissue and muscle spasm, and the enhanced circulation achieved from massage
is crucial to healing.
"I'd pay more for
an event to have massage available," Larson says. "When I compete in events where there's no massage, I definitely
notice a difference the next day. When I'm training, my massage therapist works out the kinks, which allows me to train
a little harder. It's the difference between having fun and being a hurting unit."
Whether its professional marathon training or weekend warrior sports, getting a massage can ease
muscle soreness, help your body recover more quickly, and get you ready to go again. And, of course, massage helps you deeply
relax--an important key to overall wellness.
© 2007 Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals