Whether you’re a professional or a semiprofessional athlete, or a weekends-only athlete, performing your best is essential. While eating a healthy diet and getting enough good rest provide many of the elements your body needs, they don’t give you everything. A professional sports massage can help set you up for peak performance.

Catch the Current

No matter which sport you play, energy is crucial for performance. If you’re like most athletes, feeling revived and at the top of your game can become a bit “hit or miss.” When you get high-quality sleep and ensure you’re nutritional needs are met, this is significantly less likely to occur, but it still can happen.

Getting a sports massage can help you get the most from good nutrition and restful sleep. This is because your bloodstream must carry these essential elements to your muscles while you are awake and when you’re being restored as you sleep. Since sports massage boosts the blood flow throughout your body, it helps ensure that these nutrients make it to their intended targets to provide you with the most benefit possible.

Mind-body Fueling

Eating a diet rich in phytochemicals, antioxidants, and other high-quality nutrients can help you build a body that can lift more, move faster, and reach higher. Taking complete and carefully considered breaths can help provide the oxygen essential for a variety of biochemical processes that energize cells and fuel your performance. While careful attention to these two areas can dramatically improve your health, they are not the only areas that require attention.

When your goal is performance enhancement, what you put into your mind is at least as important as what you put into your body. Our thoughts drive our actions, so using high-quality affirmations and setting intentions are two fantastic ways to support your practice sessions.

While the same circulation boost that optimizes fuel delivery to your muscles does the same thing for your brain, in brain health, there’s another factor at work: mental and emotional stress. Sports massage targets the physical tension in your body while giving you a much-needed break from the rigors of training or life in general. This breathing room can help stressful feelings melt away.

New research has also shown that sports massage does more than give you a few moments of quiet time or help your brain get better nourishment from your diet and daily activities. A sports massage can reduce biochemical markers associated with stress.

In a recent study, scientists tested the mood and saliva of athletes before and after sports massage. Through this research, they found that certain test scores related to stress were improved after a full-body sports massage. These assessments include:

  • Salivary cortisol
  • Salivary amylase
  • LifeScore Quick
  • Profile of Mood States (POMS)

While the POMS and LifeScore Quick assessments are based on subjective answers to questionnaires, salivary levels are objective data that can be remeasured in additional research studies to reinforce the improvement these researchers found from sports massage.

Salivary cortisol might be more familiar to you due to the negative press surrounding rising cortisol levels, increased abdominal fat storage, and increased levels of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes that result from excess stress.

Amylase is an enzyme found in saliva that helps you digest carbohydrates. The reason that stress raises your amylase level is that your body is getting ready to run from the threat you perceive by setting the stage to rapidly spike your blood glucose. Boosting amylase levels gets you the biggest blood glucose spike possible from the carbohydrates you could consume.

Get Back in the Game

Although we often think of stress as mental or emotional, physical stress happens all of the time. This is particularly true when you’re working to maximum capacity trying to achieve a personal best. Even if you don’t sustain an injury, physical stress can make it much more difficult to participate in your exercise or practice program.

The same circulation-boosting and stress-reducing powers that make sports massage a great fit for preparing to perform can help you recover from physical activity. Muscles generate waste products and require additional nutrition for microtears sustained during vigorous movement. Massage helps accelerate this exchange process.

Bring Your Whole Family

A common misperception that people have about our practice is that we’re for adults only. If that were true, we wouldn’t offer prenatal massage. It would be ridiculous to give a baby access to the benefits of massage through their mother’s body and not extend these benefits to children after they are born.

Massage therapy is for individuals of all ages and is a wonderful way to support childhood activities such as ballet lessons, cross-country ski challenges, and high school football games. Whichever activity your child enjoys, sports massage will help them make taking care of their body and monitoring their health a priority.

As is the case with adults, sports massage is a way of improving muscle condition, promoting muscle health, and safely relaxing the muscles for additional play. Since children are still growing, massage can also help enhance rest, digestion, and stress reduction to optimize physical development.

Ready To Skyrocket Your Athletic Performance?

If you’d like to see what sports massage can do for you or your budding athlete, we’d love to answer your questions. We’d also enjoy speaking with you during an in-office consultation. Please take a moment to read through our blog and schedule an appointment with our Denver Sports Massage team.