Student-athletes are training harder than ever, pushing their bodies farther and working longer hours to achieve and excel in their sport.  More and more, students and parents are looking for things that will give them a competitive edge, and many are turning to massage.  While on the surface, hours of practice and fancy equipment may seem more important, massage offers so much more than just relaxation.  Many professional athletes in a wide variety of sports turn to massage therapy to help them recover from injuries and strenuous training, as well as to prepare for competition.

Faster healing and recovery.

While we think of kids as more resilient and faster to heal, the repeated stresses and impacts of sports can cause serious, lasting damage to their growing bodies.  Massage helps muscles recover from minor strains and injuries, preventing them from becoming chronic structural issues later in life.  While students competing in football, gymnastics, cheerleading and running suffer most frequently, any sport with repetitive motions, like swinging a bat, serving a ball, swimming, or carrying a tuba in marching band can seriously impact the health of a young athlete.  Sports massage eases pain and can improve flexibility and range of motion, not only improving overall health, but improving physical condition and overall performance.

Sports Massage isn’t what you get at a resort.  Sports massage targets the specific muscle groups most impacted by certain activities, and uses a combination of techniques to relax muscles, improve body condition, prevent injury.  THRiVE has Licensed Massage Therapists trained in sports massage who understand how different sports impact the body, and are able to tailor their treatments accordingly.

Massage can help prevent chronic and overuse injuries

According to a 2013 study, 1.3 million students visited the ER with sports-related injuries.  Many doctors feel that this number does not take into account the huge number of overuse injuries, many of which can become serious, chronic issues if left untreated.  Sports massage is one thing that can help ease these sorts of injuries and prevent them from reoccurring.  Allowing the body to relax and recharge is an important part of any workout.  Young muscles and tendons are still growing, which places strain on the body, even before adding in daily drills and weekly competitions.

While it may seem hard to add yet another thing to a student-athlete’s busy schedule, a massage once a month, at minimum, should be considered a cornerstone of any plan for success.  A trained massage therapist, like the ones at THRiVE, should be as much a part of a teen’s plan for sports success as a dedicated coach or doctor.  Not only will they help prevent injury that could end a budding sports career, massage therapists help athletes compete at peak performance.

Improve sleep and reduce stress

Massage not only eases pain and promotes flexibility, it can promote better sleep patterns and reduce stress.  Teens rarely get enough sleep, and athletes need it even more than the average student.  Massage can improve sleep quality, allowing for a solid sleep cycle to develop.  Additionally, reduced stress and better sleep can improve focus, both on the field and in the classroom.

THRiVE offers one extra benefit, our Full Spectrum Infrared Saunas.  Infrared saunas increase circulation, relax muscles, reduce inflammation, and can speed recovery from injuries.  An infrared sauna session before a massage can allow the therapist to work at a deeper, more therapeutic level.