Massage Therapy: Luxury or Necessity?

Have you ever wondered if massage is more self care or self indulgence? We've asked Dr. Taglio to offer her expert insight on the topic of massage. Spoiler alert: you are going to want to schedule a massage after you read this!

Do you get regular massage therapy? Did you know that regular massage can prevent injuries? For active people, getting injured is one of our worst fears, as it sets us back in our goals, impairs performance, delays gains, can be expensive to treat and most of all, it causes pain! Pain and limited mobility can be very frustrating, so taking the time to get the proper care for your body to avoid injury, is priceless.ChairMassagePOST

When injuries occur, the surrounding (stronger) areas have to compensate to make up for the work the injured part is not able to do. This creates imbalances, that overtime take a toll on the body. Most of the time, these damaged areas heal, but for highly active people and athletes who continually tax their muscles to the max, an injury (especially a chronic one) may never fully heal correctly and can result in a long term problem.

Massage therapy can help heal existing injuries, but can also prevent new ones. Massage before a training session, will help prevent injuries and should be done after your warm up. This would be the perfect time to implement the hydromassage or some self massage or the foam roller, to get the muscles worked out and flexible before you start training them.

Research from Oxford University suggests that massage therapy can help minimize pain considerably and should always be offered to patients for pain management. The study also found that massage is beneficial for reducing anxiety and health related quality of life relating to physical, mental, emotional and social functioning. The International Journal of Neuroscience suggests that massage therapy improves quality of sleep, which is necessary for tissue recovery as well.

In another study at McMaster University, deep tissue massage was reported to cause muscles to enlarge and grow new and bigger mitochondria if it was performed following an intense workout. Increasing mitochondria can improve endurance by increasing the rate that the muscles utilize oxygen and are responsible for converting nutrients to energy. For active people, energy is everything. This particular study also found that massage increases range of motion in muscles and speeds up recovery time between workouts or athletic events. Massage post workout helps prevent injuries and returns the muscles to their relaxed state and allows recovery and healing to begin.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, indicated that massage therapy is beneficial for a variety of other reasons in addition to the ones we just discussed.

  • Reduces anxiety
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves mood
  • Improves connective tissue healing
  • Promotes muscle elasticity
  • Rehabs an injury
  • Relieves pain and tension
  • Reduces recovery time after an injury
  • Increases blood flow throughout the body, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the tissues
  • Balances cortisol levels (stress hormone)
  • Improves muscle flexibility
  • Prevents injury

Active individuals, especially athletes, are putting substantial demands on their bodies to be optimally fit or at the top of their sport. In order to keep up with these high demands, it is important to stick to a nutrient dense diet regimen, have consistent quality rest time and implement superior health and wellness strategies to sustain the optimal performance required of their bodies. Regular body work will aid in keeping muscles healthy, improving flexibility, maintaining relaxation, getting high quality sleep, enhancing healing and therefore improve overall performance.

dr-taglioAs a wife and mother of two active little boys, Dr. Taglio understands that life is busy and can easily get out of balance. She knows how important healthy habits are in maintaining a healthy family. She is committed to addressing the whole body and takes a multi-pronged approach to improving the function of the nervous system, by removing nerve interference through chiropractic, addressing nutritional components and incorporating neuromuscular re-education to maintain spinal health and stability. She has made it her mission to help people not only feel great, but also help them reach their highest potential, in whatever their endeavors are. She has a love for children and their healing through chiropractic and nutrition.

The opinions expressed here represent those of the author. California Family Fitness will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Always consult your physician before beginning any nutrition or exercise program.