Why Massage is Great for Recovery

How does massage help you with recovering after a stenuous workout?

Hanna Kim - 9/12/2018

Fall is just around the corner and we’ve already begun to see the aspens and other foliage change color. It’s a beautiful time of the year to get out and hike local favorites like Maroon Bells or Lizard Head. Whether you’re adding in more hikes to your weekend plans or bumping up the intensity on your tried and true workout, having a post-exercise recovery routine helps to keep your body ready for your next adventure. Massage can be a valuable addition to your recovery routine for the following reasons:

Increases Flexibility

After a vigorous hike or workout, your muscles are still tightened and contracted, especially if you decide to hop right into your car instead of getting in cooldown time to stretch. Deep tissue massage helps release these overused muscles and myofascial therapy can help work your connective tissue to get your body back into a more neutral position.

Helps Relieve Pain

When your muscles are used for an extended amount of time, you create tiny tears in the fibers. The tears aren’t bad, but actually a necessary step for creating stronger muscle tissue. Normally, this leaves you feeling sore in the following days as your body recovers, but a research study published in Science Translational Medicine shows massage can facilitate your body’s healing process.

The small tears in your muscles from exercise fire up an inflammatory response to begin healing those areas. Massage has been shown to reduce the production of a compound called cytokines which play a critical role in inflammation, while also stimulating mitochondria in the cells, which are responsible for converting glucose into energy required for cell function and repair. This means massage can both reduce pain and increase cellular repair.

While popping an aspirin might seem to provide good pain relief in the short run, the way anti-inflammatory medications work is different from massage and may actually inhibit the healing process according to the study’s senior author, Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky.

Soothes Your Nerves

While deep tissue techniques are great for relieving physical tension, there’s nothing like Swedish massage to really help you zone out. Gentler massage modalities can be just as impactful as deep tissue work by getting your mind and body to relax.

With the Mile High Massage offered at both LoDo Massage Studios, you have the option of having your massage therapist combine different techniques to create the best results towards for your recovery. For example, you can have your therapist use
deep tissue to work your muscles for the first half of the session, followed by a soothing relaxation massage for the last half.


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