Physical exercise and strenuous activities can take a toll on our muscles, leaving them sore, fatigued, and in need of recovery. While rest and proper nutrition are essential for muscle repair, many athletes and individuals turn to massage therapy as a complementary approach to aid in the recovery process.
If you’re thinking about using massages in your recovery, and want to know a little more about the benefits - we’ve written a post just for you. Below, we discover the benefits of massages for muscle recovery and delve into the science behind this popular practice. Continue reading to learn more.
Muscle Recovery; What is it?
Muscle recovery refers to the process by which muscles repair and rebuild themselves after intense physical activity. During exercise, muscles undergo microscopic damage, resulting in inflammation, soreness, and the breakdown of muscle fibres. Adequate recovery allows the body to repair these microtears, build new muscle tissue, and regain strength.
The Role of Massage in Muscle Recovery
- Increased Blood Flow
Massage therapy involves applying pressure, kneading, and manipulating soft tissues, which can increase blood circulation in the treated area. This improved blood flow delivers essential nutrients, oxygen, and immune cells to the muscles, facilitating the removal of metabolic waste products such as lactic acid. Enhanced blood circulation can help accelerate the healing process and reduce inflammation, leading to faster muscle recovery.
- Reduced Muscle Tension
Intense physical activity can cause muscle fibres to become tight and knotted, leading to stiffness and decreased range of motion. Massage techniques, such as kneading and stretching, can help release muscle tension and knots, allowing the muscles to relax and regain their natural elasticity. This release of tension promotes flexibility and range of motion, which is crucial for optimal muscle recovery.
- Decreased Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury or stress. While it is an essential part of the healing process, excessive inflammation can impede muscle recovery. Massage therapy has been found to reduce inflammation by stimulating the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines and promoting lymphatic drainage. By reducing inflammation, massages can help accelerate the healing process and alleviate muscle soreness.
- Pain Relief
Muscle soreness and pain are common after intense physical activity. Massage therapy can help alleviate these symptoms by stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers. Additionally, massages can help relax the nervous system and decrease the perception of pain, providing relief and improving overall comfort during the muscle recovery process.
Maximising the Benefits
To maximise the benefits of massages for muscle recovery, there are a number of different tips you should follow;
First of all, timing. This means scheduling your massage within 48 hours of intense physical activity. This is when the muscles are most responsive to the healing effects of massage therapy.
Secondly, communication is a second tip. Essentially, communicate your specific needs, areas of concern, and comfort level to the massage therapist. They can tailor the session to address your individual requirements and ensure a positive experience.
Thirdly, consistency is key. Incorporate regular massage sessions into your muscle recovery routine. Consistency is vital if you want to reap the long-term benefits of massage therapy and support ongoing muscle repair and maintenance.
Need Help with Muscle Recovery?
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Our carefully selected botanical ingredients are expertly blended to have a positive impact on sleep, diet, skincare, and overall health. From our muscle relaxing bath salts to our vegan muscle recovery supplements, we have a range of products designed specifically for muscle recovery.
The Vegan Muscle Recovery Supplement + Maintenance BCAA can revitalise tired muscles and accelerate your muscle recovery. It is packed with potent branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), and is carefully formulated to reduce muscle fatigue, relieve soreness, and promote muscle growth on a cellular level.
Similarly, the Skin Restoring + Muscle Relaxing Bath Salts are luxurious, natural salts and organic botanicals that aid incredibly in muscle recovery. They help to calm the mind, relax the body, and restore the skin. With free shipping on orders over £50 in the UK, you can save more on your order. Head to the anatomē website today.