Last year the American Massage Therapy Association published the following list:
- Relieve stress
- Relieve postoperative pain
- Reduce anxiety
- Manage low-back pain
- Help fibromyalgia pain
- Reduce muscle tension
- Enhance exercise performance
- Relieve tension headaches
- Sleep better
- Ease symptoms of depression
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Reduce pain of osteoarthritis
- Decrease stress in cancer patients
- Improve balance in older adults
- Decrease rheumatoid arthritis pain
- Temper effects of dementia
- Promote relaxation
- Lower blood pressure
- Decrease symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Help chronic neck pain
- Lower joint replacement pain
- Increase range of motion
- Decrease migraine frequency
- Improve quality of life in hospice care
- Reduce chemotherapy-related nausea
I would like to focus on three of these reasons:
6. Reduce muscle tension
7. Enhance exercise performance
9. Sleep better
All the reasons listed on the AMTA’s list are great reasons to get a massage, but I think the three that I’ve chosen apply to most CrossFitters
Currently you’re working on a huge, eight week long, strength training plan. This is awesome and will make you all so much stronger and healthier, but it will take a lot out of each of you and this is where massage can help.
6. Reduce muscle tension
If you’re training hard, especially strength training, your muscles will be on tension throughout your lifting session. Sometimes, due to work stress, life stress, and a lot of things outside of our control our muscles stay on tension. This can decrease the effectiveness of your training and hurt your recovery.
Massage can help reduce this muscle tension, even easy relax massages can help a lot through stress relief. More targeted, deeper massages can help as part of your regular training program.
7. Enhance exercise performance:
There are so many massage therapy options to help enhance exercise performance that I would need a much longer paper to get through them all. For me personally trigger point therapy (when a therapist finds the sore spot and works it out) and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) are my favourite. Why these two? The first gives you, the client, an immediate feeling that something is being done to help you. This feeling in and of itself is really mentally helpful and the treating of a trigger point can help general muscle performance. The second, PNF, can help train your brain and body to work better together. I see great results with muscle activation using this technique and my clients can see immediate changes while in the room with me and long-term changes while training.
9. Sleep better:
We all know recovery and sleep are very important for our athletic performance.
I know if I haven’t had a good night’s sleep I don’t feel right while climbing, and I’m sure a lot of you have looked at your set after a poor night’s sleep and felt overwhelmed. By relieving muscle tension, helping to relax the body, helping the body move better massage can help each of you sleep better.
My first two weeks meeting a lot of you has been awesome. You’re an amazing bunch and I’m really enjoying working with you! Please email or call me with any questions.
I’m currently available all day on Saturday and I hope to add a few more days a week very soon.
~ Veronica (0466 470 065)