It’s that time of year when new year’s resolutions often translate into more hours in the gym, pushing yourself beyond your normal capacity, and trying to reach new goals. That also means muscle soreness and an increase risk of injury. You can combat this, though with the power of massage therapy.
Let’s look at what happens in the body when you get a massage so you can see just how massage can help you after those intense workouts.
Newer studies have shown that there are subtle chemical and cellular changes that occur as a result of massage that translates into some big benefits for weekend warriors and pro athletes alike. In a 2015 study,they looked at the effect massage would have on post-workout strength and body awareness. What they found was that those who received massage had more strength and improved body awareness.
It’s not like you can just get massages and have the same results as lifting weights, but the return of strength, mobility, and overall performance is greatly improved when massage is applied directly after an intense workout. This means you’ll feel better faster and get back into the action much sooner.
Another study looked even deeper and discovered that massage decreased the activity of a protein called NF-kB, which causes inflammation related to exercises, as well as increased in the activity of a protein called PGC-1alpha, which increases the production of new mitochondria, a crucial aspect of healing. So basically, this means that massage therapy is decreasing inflammation and increasing cellular repair. Isn’t that incredible!?
You’ll probably notice that the benefits here don’t have anything to do with lactic acid. These and other studies have shown that massage doesn’t “flush out” lactic acid as has been claimed by many for years. Instead, the reason you feel so much better after a post-workout massage, is that it’s causing these structural and cellular changes, speeding up your recovery and getting you back in the game faster.
So if you’ve made a resolution to get back in shape and you’re pushing yourself to new limits, schedule your next massage at Proactive Massage & Bodywork and let us make sure you’re at your best.