Running has become a really popular activity over the past decade, with tracks around Melbourne like the tan becoming as busy as peak hour traffic. As a result we have seen an increase in running related injuries and muscular imbalances at Melbourne Natural Therapies, a number of which we believe could have been prevented.
Running is a pretty intense activity requiring sustained, repetitive muscle contractions to produce speed, power and distance. However, over time this leads to shortened, tight muscles, reduced range of motion and decreased circulation to the contracted tissues. Massage works to elongate the muscles, relieve muscle tightness, restore range of motion, and improve circulation.
The main focus of remedial massage for runners is to improve circulation to the muscles and joints and provide improved muscular health for the maximum strength, mobility and protection from injury. The more blood we can get to these muscles the more oxygen transfer, nutrient delivery, and waste removal we achieve. The circulatory system affects all the other systems in the body too; increasing the effectiveness of the circulatory system through massage treatments can directly or indirectly impact our entire body providing a whole host of other benefits.
Research conducted by scientists from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging at McMaster University in Ontario shows that massage reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria, the energy-producing units in the cells, following a bout of strenuous exercise. That means that massage can help pain relief by reducing excess swelling and inflammation and then build muscles and encourage their recovery as well. Not only does massage feel good on the muscle tissues, it actually is good for them.
Research suggests that occasional massage is good, but won’t give you the same benefits as a regular massage program. Just like exercise, the benefits are cumulative, meaning the more regularly you see a massage therapist, the more effective the treatment will be. At Melbourne Natural Therapies we recommend runners doing between 20kms and 30kms a week should have a remedial massage once a month, and anyone doing over 30kms a week should have massage fortnightly.
Massage benefits overview:
- Dilates blood vessels which promotes circulation and lowers blood pressure
- Assists venous blood flow (returning deoxygenated blood back to the heart)
- Promotes removal of metabolic waste products
- Improves the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells
- Improves pulmonary function (getting oxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs) by loosening tight muscles in the torso
- Reduces muscle soreness and fatigue
- Increases/restores range of motion
- Reduces cortisol levels and norepinephrine and epinephrine levels (reducing stress and over-activity of the adrenal glands)
- Corrects posture and gait to prevent injury from faulty biomechanics
- Improves connective tissue healing
If you would like to book in for a remedial massage consultation or would just like to have a chat feel free to give us a call.
Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies
Remedial Massage | Myotherapy
03 9645 9923