Five health benefits of Sports Massage

At Cryo Wellbeing we offer qualified, specialist sports massage in Cardiff (soft tissue massage), wellbeing coaching and cryotherapy treatments. All three treatments offer unique benefits to those trying to manage pain, recovering from (and preventing) injury, recovering from a pulled muscle, wanting to become more flexible and helping those who wish to reduce stress and create a sense of fulfillment and wellbeing.

In this article we’ll give you five amazing benefits of massage and why massage should be a regular part of your life.

1: Massage can reduce blood pressure

We all suffer from stress and it’s not always a bad thing, it can help you focus on a task at hand or increase your reaction times to avoid an accident. The problems with stress begin when it is constant and you can’t turn it off.

Sustained stress can make us ill, trigger mood and behavioural changes, insomnia and increase our blood pressure. Whichever way you look at it – being stressed all the time is bad news; the increased production of cortisol can have potentially wide-ranging negative effects – from diabetes to ageing us well beyond our years, to even potentially increasing the spread of cancer.

Some experts believe that 90% of all illnesses are caused by stress. So what can you do?

The answer is to book a massage. A professionally performed massage can trigger a range of responses in your body – specifically it triggers a brain chemistry response that can lower stress, improve your mental alertness and improve your mood. During a massage your body produces more serotonin and dopamine helping to create a feeling of calm and relaxation. While producing more of the feel good chemicals, a massage also helps to reduce the amount of cortisol and adrenaline in your body. The changes in this chemical balance help your body to enter a rest and recovery mode.

By including regular massage treatments into your life can help control your stress over the long term.

Interested in reducing your stress levels?

2: Protect you from illness

Above we mentioned how when you are stressed your body releases hormones such as adrenaline or cortisol. In addition to the effects we’ve already mentioned, these hormones when produced in excess can suppress your immune system. A suppressed immune system can not only leave you vulnerable to infections but also makes it harder for your body to recover.

We’ve already explained how massage can alleviate stress but in addition to stress-reduction, a regular massage can make your body better equipped and more efficient at fighting off illness.
Research has shown that with regular massage, the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity increases (this is the activity level of your body’s ‘killer cells’), and at the same time the number of T-Cells is reduced, improving the overall functioning of the immune system.

Massage has also been shown to increase the number of white blood cells – these play an important role in defending your body against disease and infection.

Ready to give your immune system a boost?

3: Faster recovery from exercise

No matter whether you are a seasoned athlete running every day, an amateur or professional taking part in competitive sport or you’re simply enjoying a weekly Zumba class in the village hall, there are benefits to be had from massage.

Injury and muscle fatigue can be common among those that play hard, especially those taking part in competitive sports, but even those of us who enjoy less ’aggressive’ exercise can fall victim to muscle pain and soreness.

Any type of fairly vigorous exercise can result in micro-tears in the muscle fibre (it’s not necessarily a bad thing in itself – it’s the method by which muscle is strengthened and built). These micro-tears can lead to your body creating an immune response to try and repair the damage – this can lead to inflammation, which in-turn leads to muscle pain.

A properly applied sports massage can reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokines (those again!) – these cytokines form a key role in inflammation. With reduced cytokine production comes less inflammation and less muscle pain.

Massage also stimulates the mitochondria, these are the little power stations inside your cells, that convert glucose into energy. This energy is used for cell function and repair – speeding up your recovery time from anything from marathon running, rugby games or the local Zumba class!

Improve your exercise recovery times

4: Improve your posture

Musculoskeletal problems are a huge problem around the world, and here in the UK it is the most common cause of staff absences. Back pain from being incorrectly sat at your desk or hunched over a steering wheel all day are serious problems.

Back pain and neck pain are no joke, they can be extremely painful and while painkillers may help at temporarily alleviating the pain if you don’t correct the primary cause then you’ll never be free of it.

Bad posture is the primary cause of these common ailments, and not only does hunching over not look great – it really is the road to pain. A bad posture leads to some muscles overworking and some not working enough, this imbalance leads to the aforementioned neck and back pain.

A massage not only helps to relieve the pain, but by loosening the muscles which have been tightened by poor alignment it allows your body to reposition itself in a natural and correct posture.

Back or neck pain?

5: Feel great about yourself

All the above benefits are amazing at treating specific problems but one of the most life-changing aspects of massage is how it makes you feel afterwards.

A series of well administered massages by a qualified professional should help you achieve a highly relaxed state for both the mind and the body.

During a massage, as we mentioned above, the body releases dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters help stimulate feelings of relaxation and happiness. Over time and with regular massage treatments they can be used to regulate mood. When you take this into account with the stress-reducing benefits of point 1, it’s easy to understand how you can feel a palpable sense of wellbeing after every session.

And, it’s not just how you feel, you can start to look better too, with better posture, less stress, better sleep and a reduction of toxins, you’ll start to ‘glow’ as your body becomes better equipped to repair itself from the inside out. All thanks to massage therapy.

Sports massage in Cardiff

Along with cryotherapy, and wellbeing coaching our sports massage treatments are performed in our dedicated studio just 30 minutes from Cardiff and 20 minutes from Newport.

Here we can put together a tailored plan of regular treatments either to treat a specific condition or to help with your general wellbeing.

Want to get started but not sure if it’s for you?
We offer a free initial telephone consultation, you can tell us what you hope to achieve or what your specific problem is and we can discuss the available options with you.
Click below to send us a message and we’ll be in touch.

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