Reasons to Get A Massage After Workout

Reasons to Get A Massage After Workout


Nowadays everyone likes to take care of their body, whether by eating healthy or going to the gym to exercise and build strength. Although physical activity can be extremely beneficial to your body and psyche, it can be exhausting to have a routine that implies a heavy workout. This is especially true when it comes to professional athletes but it can be related to regular people who like workout as a hobby. Both professional sport and amateur exercising can lead to injuries and muscle soreness or inflammations. An excellent way to relax, remove pain and all the accumulated stress is massage. People have usually taken massages independently when they want to relax. However, it has become a part of the sportsmen’s routine to have them from time to time to both alleviate the negative effects of exercising and emphasize the positive ones and that way take the maximum benefit out of exercising. Also, people who do sports as a hobby are getting more and more interested in this type of relaxing therapy.

What happens to a Body during a Workout

The effects of workouts on our body are numerous like we said. Let’s mention some of them. The brain makes dopamine and serotonin while we exercise but it also consumes more energy than normal which exhausts us. The blood flow is more abundant, the circulation is increased and the adrenaline levels rise which can be perceived as stressful by our body. Our lungs work harder, receiving more oxygen. Our skin cools itself by sweating and takes out all the toxins as well. The muscles work and the veins pump the blood to our heart. Our bone density increases over time and the calcium loss is prevented by long-term exercise which can prevent osteoporosis. All these things can be very positive, but some of them can also be somewhat dangerous, like the adrenaline rush for example, or those unpleasant pains and aches that can last for days and prevent us from continuing with our workout routine. Our muscle fibers suffer from excessive physical activity and those minor tears that happen to them can lead to inflammation as a reaction of the body. Our body can perceive the workout as damage to the body or some sort of jeopardy, as it, in the end, is a stressful activity (despite its positive sides). After a hard workout, our body needs some time to recover. Even if there are no injuries, massage can be a great prevention method so that you can avoid them in the future.

The definition of Massage and Sports Massage

Massage is a practice used centuries ago in several ancient civilizations such as Greece, India, and China. It has been linked to Oriental countries for so long. In the West, massage became popular thanks to the invention of the Swedish massage. This type of massage was later on used as a base for the sports massage, generally used by athletes just like its name indicates. Although amateurs can also use a massage after a workout to reduce the pain and boost their performance, sports massage goes beyond that and offers better recovery from injuries and faster tissue repair. Furthermore, sports massage manipulates soft tissues like tendons, muscles, ligaments, skin, etc by stretching, kneading, or using pressure on those tissues. This is being done because regular physical activity can cause damage to soft tissues and massage is a way to correct any trauma caused by that and make the healing process faster and more pleasant. It can be used as a prevention measure as well, to avoid possible injuries during workouts.

Mental benefits of a Massage After Workout

It is important to mention that massage is done by professionals who manipulate our muscles, tendons, and different body tissues and ligaments to ameliorate our overall well-being. Our mental health can be improved by having a massage as a routine. These are some of the reasons for that:

    • Massage can make you more relaxed. The cortisol levels decrease thanks to the massage (the opposite of the adrenaline rise during a workout). Also, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, so it’s a perfect way to relax after a hard workout. Certain studies proved that massage leads to significant changes in our mood and stress relief which is very important for people who fight depression.
    • If you want to sleep better and rest more efficiently, a good massage can help you achieve that. A night of good sleep is a great way to be prepared for new exercises and become more healthy and resistant. If you’re just an amateur, it can still help you catch up with your daily routine and not come tired to work.
    • If there are illnesses that prevent you from achieving your goals in sports, like migraines or exposure to stress, massages can help reduce them and make your sports sessions more effective and satisfactory.
    • Massages reduce anxiety and irritability and if you add high serotonin levels obtained from sports you get a boost of your neurotransmitters that make you overall happy. This way massage can be a powerful tool when it comes to beating anxiety as well. You can trick your body to produce more good hormones in case you lack them.
    • Some people practice sports because they have eating disorders. Massage helps get your hormones balanced which can help beat these diseases and acquire a positive body image.

Physical benefits of Massage After Workout

After mentioning the psychological benefits, let’s mention the physical benefits of a (sports) massage.

    • Releasing tension by stretching the tissue and improving flexibility
    • Penetrating a damaged muscle and making a vacuum that makes it heal faster
    • Deep massage is especially effective since it opens the pores and that way it can remove the lactic acid which causes pain after a workout
    • Rejuvenating the muscles by melting scar tissues made by some previous trauma
    • Rejuvenating the skin by releasing a lot of toxins and sweat during exercise
    • Allowing the easier passage of nutrients through blood vessels by dilatation and stretching
    • Making tissue elastic and that way reducing the hardness and inelasticity of the tissue without massage
    • Removing stiff back or tense/sore muscle issues which happen due to more oxygen circulation. Less constriction of muscles means less possibility to get injured in the future.
    • Better energy while relaxing. Although it sounds paradoxical because people link massage to relaxing only, since the oxygen levels increase during a massage, your energy levels increase as well. More energy means more endurance in future workouts.

Types of Massages

We mentioned and explained the deep tissue massage but let’s talk about some other types of massages as well.

    • Swedish massage therapy relieves pain and tension, it’s perfect for people who work a lot and experience stress
    • Thai massage releases the pain and the soreness out of your muscles
    • Aromatherapy massage uses essential oils to create a calming effect on your senses
    • Head and foot reflexology therapy manipulates the acupressure points and relieves the pain from your organs
    • Muscle percussion therapy is especially effective in the muscle recovery of the sportsmen

Chair Massage

Since the advances of technology are beneficial in so many ways, the massage chair was invented several decades ago to make massage more comfortable. All the benefits of the regular massage done by human professionals were intended to be perpetrated by a massage chair. By having a machine like this, you can always enjoy the benefits of a massage at your home or even workplace (for corporations that offer this benefit for their employees). There are different types of them and you can choose which massage chair is suitable for you. That can be a positive posture massage chair, foot massager, lift chair, small massager chair, and so on. You can schedule a chair massage with a professional if you want to try this before purchasing one for yourself.

Chair massage techniques are based on Shiatsu and Swedish massage. Shiatsu tends to release tension in different parts of the body while Swedish massage tends to make your circulation stronger. Massage chairs are designed to support your whole body and they have elements that do the kneading, pressing, pulling of your muscles, etc.

The benefits of Chair Massage

The major benefit of this type of massage is the prevention of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). After you start a new exercise routine you might experience this painful stiffness in your muscles that usually happens some hours after the workout. Chair massage can reduce this feeling and also improve your movements and feeling of relaxation. People sometimes doubt if massage chairs have the same effect as in-person massages, and the truth is that they do since only 10-15 minutes of chair massage after a workout can significantly ameliorate your overall state. In terms of convenience, this is even better since you can schedule your 10 minutes and with that one session after the training, you are done. The compressions that a massage chair does to your muscles make the endorphin level rise which is another great way to reduce stress and anxiety just like an in-person massage. Although we are discussing the benefits of the massage after a workout, consider an option to use a chair massage before a workout as well since it can loosen up the muscles and make them more flexible, thus reducing the chance to get sore muscles. The blood pressure can be reduced as well and this is very beneficial since the heart needs to pump more blood during the workout so its pressure rises as well.

Overusing a Massage Chair

This issue pops up surprisingly since all the benefits of the massage chairs are so convincing that one would tell it’s almost impossible to overuse them and have negative consequences. You have to be aware of this as well to be able to optimize the use of massage chairs. Excessive use can lead to tissue bruises, inflammation, muscle damage and all the possible benefits would be to waste that way. This is especially important for people who start using it for the first time. Not only can your body suffer but also a massage chair motor can get damaged in the process. Always consult with the professional or with a doctor in case you need this type of therapy because of some injury. They can prescribe the right treatment for you and tell you how many sessions you need and how long they should take.

As a summary of this article, doing sports is a beneficial activity that can bring you many good things, from improving your physical condition, posture, and mental health to acquiring a better physical appearance and thus boosting your self-esteem. Bear in mind that every action has both positive and negative sides so take precaution measures and protect your body from possible injuries caused by exercising. Other than that, establish a post-workout routine so that you can enjoy all the positive sides of the sports. Find something you would like to improve, whether it is related to your body, psyche, or some condition. Investigate the ways of doing it and consult with a professional. Choose the type of message that would work best for your plan. Be consistent since the results might not be visible after only one session. However, perseverance in this routine will soon show you that you are more energetic, glowing, and happier. Consider having a chair massage in case you require long-term therapy and this solution would provide more efficiency or it would be more economical long term. Choose the right one by investigating your options, and again the type of chair that best suits your condition and needs. Make sure, in the end, not to make a beginner’s mistake to overuse this product since it can be counterproductive and cause traumas, muscle damage, or damage to the product itself, which would cause pain, slower recovery, and would make you lose money, among all these things.