Massage can help speed recovery after intense workout

By Mateusz Bednarczuk

26 May 2023

Man giving a massage
Align Sports Massage Therapist Mateusz Bednarczuk says regular massage can help you avoid injury and enhances recovery. — Photo: Davion Cotterell

Not long ago, a team of scientists led by Harvard University's Dr. David Mooney studied if and how massage may speed muscle healing.

The results, published in the October 2021 issue of "Science Translational Medicine," show that manual treatment of muscles substantially improves recovery after severe injury. This improvement is likely due to the rapid clearance of neutrophil and inflammatory factors, which impede healing.

“This research has revealed a previously unknown type of interplay between mechanobiology and immunology that may be critical for muscle tissue healing,” Mooney said. “It’s a testament to how crucial it is to consider both physical and biological elements when studying and working to improve human health.”

Every time we exercise, we damage our muscles. The harder the training, the more fibres will be torn. Massage therapy can be an effective form of treatment to help with this problem. Speaking from my own experience, this is the one of the main reasons professional football teams use massage therapists for daily treatment of the players. Here are some ways that massage can help people who want to be active:

1. Reduces muscle soreness: Massage can help to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness that can occur after intense exercise or training. By promoting blood flow and reducing inflammation, massage can help to speed up recovery and reduce the risk of injury.

2. Improves flexibility: Massage can help improve flexibility and range of motion, making it easier for athletes to perform their activities. By releasing tension, massage can help to improve muscle function.

3. Enhances recovery: Massage can help to enhance recovery by promoting relaxation, reducing stress and improving sleep quality. By reducing stress and promoting relaxation, massage can help to boost the body's ability to recover from physical activity and perform at its best.

4. Prevents injury: Regular massage therapy can help to prevent injury by identifying areas of tension or weakness in the body and addressing them before they become more serious.

If you are an athlete or exercise regularly and are interested in incorporating massage therapy into your wellness routine, it's a good idea to consult with a registered massage therapist who can help you determine the best approach for your individual needs.

Mateusz Bednarczuk is a Sports Massage Therapist at Align wellness studio in Camana Bay. For further information, call Align at (345) 640-5050.

This article was originally published in the May 2023 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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