Like a lot of people I’ve always seen getting a massage as an extreme luxury and in all honesty the one time I did have a massage I actually felt embarrassed to tell people, as I thought they might think I was some kind of ‘Lady of Leisure’. Ridiculous, I know! I soon learned that for those of us who put our body through strenuous workouts actually NEED massages in our lives. The kind of massage I’m talking about is rather different to the pampering kind though…
If you’ve never had a deep tissue sports massage before, don’t go in thinking it’ll be fancy aromas and soft hands running over your back. If you really want to get through the tense muscles then you’re going to need something a little more firm, shall we say! That doesn’t mean it’s a horrible experience though, I love it. It just means that there might be a few moments where you grit your teeth, hold your breath and possibly let out the odd swear word!
Which brings me nicely onto Jonny Hands, a Sports & Remedial Massage Therapist and the man I have to thank for lessening the tension in my shoulders of late. Rather than trawl the internet to find the benefits of sports massage for you, I thought it would be much better to get it from the expert himself…
BENEFITS OF MASSAGE
1. Promotes Circulation – Encouraging and enhancing your blood flow back to the heart through massage techniques delivers fresh oxygen and nutrients to the tissue and promotes the removal of waste products and toxins, such as lactic acid. The increased and enhanced blood circulation helps to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness and make for a faster recovery.
2. Aids Flexibility – A relaxed muscle can experience an increase in range of motion and flexibility, which can lead to better athletic performance.
3. Reduces Inflammation – Massage reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria, the energy-producing units in the cells. It therefore means that massage can help pain relief and build muscle.
4. Reduces Stress – Other than just generally giving that ‘feel good factor’, massage helps to reduce stress, tension and anxiety and therefore enhancing relaxation. This is done by activating your parasympathetic nervous system – an increase in dopamine and serotonin levels, plus reduced cortisol levels, which are directly linked to stress.
5. Encourages Focus – As a nice follow on from number four, the relaxed and lowered-tension state encourages focus and awareness within a person and allows them to both think and perform with a clearer mind and refreshed body.
P.S. Yes, his real surname is Hands. It couldn’t be more fitting! 😉