How to Incorporate Massage into Your Training
1. Training Maintenance/Tune-up - General: Directly after or the day after an intense workout, you will want to receive a general post-training massage to facilitate faster and easier recovery, and to minimize adhesions, restrictions, and trigger points. Since this is, overall, a lighter massage you do not need to take time out, but can continue on with intense training the next day. This massage will help lessen tenderness and stiffness as it facilitates blood and lymph circulations within the body. By assisting the body to push fluids, the focus is more on working with a group of musculatures than on a specific grouping of muscle fibers. The massage techniques are more general with strokes that are long and slow with light to medium pressure.
2. Injury Recovery OR Maximizing Performance - Specific: This type of massage is needed if you are in the process of recovering from an injury, or have noticeable imbalances, stiffness, and tenderness in relation to gait, posture and/or pedaling. When you need deeper work, it means that your body has developed enough adhesions, trigger points, and scar tissue to affect the functional & structural integrity of your musculoskeletal system. Your movements become noticeably weaker, stiffer, and less precise. The purpose of massage in this situation, is to increase circulation and range of motion and to promote efficient, ease of movement for all affected areas. The massage techniques are more precise in nature and incorporate different variations of neuromuscular therapy, in addition to deep tissue, myofascial, visceral manipulation, foot compression and heat/cold therapy. In working with a deeper layer of muscles, the approach is slow and methodical in nature. Restrictions are released in one layer of muscles and connective tissues at a time. Continual dialogue with the massage therapist is kept to ensure proper and speedy recovery.
Deeper, more detailed massages like this require 72 hours of rest as your body adjusts and heals. Expect to feel some soreness. You can do some light therapeutic movement to help the body integrate new lengths, but always remember to be cautious and stop before feeling fatigue physically. It is recommended to receive this type of massage during active recovery periods or before scheduled rest days.
3. Athletic Performance Optimization (See Below): There are other massage modalities and specialties such as ELDOA, Thai Massage and Manual Lymphatic Drainage that you may want to incorporate within your training. They are very therapeutic in nature, and will help tremendously in optimizing health and athletic potential. Further, since they require no active recovery time, you can receive them anytime.
How often should you schedule massages?
Additional Procedures to Help Recovery
NormaTec Pulse Recovery
Synergistically combining three distinctive massage techniques to speed the body's normal recovery process: pulsing compression, gradients and distal release, all to maximize circulation throughout the body enabling you to train harder, recover faster and perform better. For more information on the science, visit the Normatec website.
LightStim LED Light for Pain
LightStim LED Light Therapy is a natural way to ease pain and reduce inflammation while accelerating your body's healing process. LightStim for Pain emits warm and soothing light energy proven to temporarily relieve arthritic pain, muscle & joint pain, and stiffness. It also increases blood circulation and will diminish any bruising you might have.
Other Types of Performance Optimization Sessions
ELDOA exercises and Myofascial Stretches are specific techniques created by world renowned osteopath, Guy Voyer, D.O. ELDOA Method classes are semi-private group classes organized by certified ELDOA instructor, Christine Ryan, who uses a combination of techniques to deliver the most beneficial sessions possible. ELDOA and Myofascial Stretches are very specific techniques that require strong attention to form and the proper progressions. Proper instruction from a certified instructor will make the techniques much more effective. Benefits include the following:
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Gentle manual sequenced movements to help the Lymph system drain stored waste out of your body. Benefits include reduced inflammation, swelling, bruising, cramping and decreased overall healing time.
Traditional Thai Massage
This is a more active type of massage. A series of modified yoga poses allow for a deeper stretch beneficial for people whose sport has specific, repetitive range of motion, such as cycling and running. The benefit is that muscles become released, relaxed and lengthened allowing for greater range of motion and flexibility.