How Sports Massage Can Help Any Athlete - Our Personal Testimony
Zach & Suzanne Zimmerer Sep 6, 2014
Suzanne and Zach, owners of Elements Massage Highlands Ranch, are former competitive athletes who have experienced firsthand the healing effects and muscle rejuvenation that massage offers.
Suzanne was a US national champion in the 200 Meter backstroke, a member of the US National team, and a NCAA Champion at Stanford. Zach was a Pac-10 wrestling champion and a four time NCAA qualifier at Stanford. Both Suzanne and Zach sought massage throughout their collegiate careers to help them achieve peak performance, recover from injury, and stay refreshed in between heavy workouts.
Suzanne started receiving weekly massage her freshman year at Stanford specifically to manage chronic neck pain, a result of hyper flexibility of ligaments in her neck. The massage sessions were 90-120 minutes long each week focused on trigger points and deep myofascial work. After several months of consistent massage therapy, Suzanne had her neck pain under control. Prior to NCAAs, US National competitions, and Olympics Trials, Suzanne’s massage regime switched to an all-over massage focused on muscle relaxation. During the competitions, the Stanford Women’s Swim Team also employed a massage therapist to help all of the swimmers with muscle readiness and working out lactic acid after each race. Suzanne felt that in addition to the physical benefits of massage, there were also psychological benefits too. During and after the massage sessions, Suzanne had increased body awareness, a sharpened sense of focus and clarity on her training, and improved confidence.
In Zach’s case, a Stanford team physician recommended massage therapy for Zach’s shoulder in an effort to avoid or delay surgery. Zach started to receive weekly massage to minimize pain in his shoulder and restore mobility and strength. Zach permanently avoided surgery on his shoulder with the help of routine massage.
Like Suzanne and Zach, many elite athletes consider massage therapy an essential part of their training and recovery. The often referenced benefits of sports massage include:
- treating and preventing musculoskeletal dysfunction and pain
- increasing range of motion
- restoring body alignment
- reducing muscle fatigue and improving endurance during workouts
- reducing recovery time in between workouts and after competition
- enhancing athletic performance through physical and mental relaxation
There are a variety of different massage techniques that can be used for athletes, including deep tissue, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and assisted stretching.
Whether you are a highly competitive athlete training for competition, you exercise to improve your overall health and wellness, or you fall somewhere in between, massage can help with muscle pulls or tears, neck pain, chronic headaches, IT band syndrome, low back pain, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, tight muscles, scar tissue, post exercise soreness, and the list goes on.
Consider a sports massage to compliment your training and recovery efforts. Your body and your mind will benefit.