Training and competing is the focus – right? Well, maybe not. Without an effective recovery plan, your training and competing in the next event can, at best, be less than effective. At worst, it can put you at serious risk of injury and jeopardise future events.
So, why is recovery so important? And what should it incorporate?
Why you Need Recovery
When we exercise, our muscles can become overstretched, causing tiny micro tears. This causes mildly to moderately painful an inflammatory response, and can result in restricted movement or reduced power in the muscle. Pain can also be the result of adhesions, lack of oxygen, build up of toxins and nerve irritation.
The stress created by training and competing also triggers your fight or flight response, which releases adrenaline and cortisone. When released in large amounts, or too regularly, these hormones can have a negative effect on the immune system. This in turn makes it harder for the body to recover.
What should Recovery Include?
Ideally, recovery should incorporate long periods of rest. Unfortunately, this is not always possible for busy athletes – even for weekend warriors. Fortunately for us, Recovery Massage can provide many of the benefits of rest – and many more besides – in a short period of time.
What is Recovery Massage?
There are essentially two different forms of Recovery Massage
- Immediately after the event (within 24 hours) – this massage will use Swedish massage techniques such as effleurage and petrissage. Light, flowing strokes are used to gently encourage blood flow to the affected muscles, lengthen tightened muscles, reduce tension, remove lactic acid and reduce the risk of delayed onset muscle soreness. This style of massage will also provide optimum Central Nervous System stimulation and relax the entire body.
- 24-72 hours after the event – your massage will be a more remedial style massage, using a combination of Swedish techniques for increasing blood flow and clear toxins and deep tissue techniques to increase flexibility and release deep tensions.
When should you have your recovery massage?
The sooner the better! A light recovery massage – usually 30 minutes in length – within 24 hours, followed by a longer, remedial massage style massage 2-3 days later.
So if you are serious about your sport – no matter what sport or what level you are at – make sure you incorporate a Recovery Massage in your train, compete, recovery regime. You will notice the difference in your performance!
Our massage therapists are available at the Baulkham Hills Clinic Monday to Saturday during normal clinic hours. Call or email for an appointment to make sure your recovery keeps you performing at your best.