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The benefits of massage for runners

From: The Joy of Touch Therapies,

The benefits of massage for runners

Do you run for fun, exercise, or are you currently training for one of the many running events that take place throughout the year?

Whatever your reasons for running, you may benefit from regular massage treatments that pay particular attention to your legs. There are numerous benefits to having massage as an integral part of your running regime.

Running is a repetitive activity that can put stresses on the body. Problems can include general aches and pains and reduced flexibility, and scar tissue can be the result of previous running injuries or trauma and can affect muscle, tendons and ligament flexibility. Massage may not get rid of scar tissue completely, but should help make tissue more supple and flexible and therefore able to function normally.

Massage can help to reduce the risk of injury. You may notice that you have a few niggles or aches and pains, do not ignore them, if these are not addressed they may lead to a full blown injury. An injury is the last thing you need as it could mean taking time out of your training schedule and may prevent you from taking part in the actual event that you’ve trained so hard for.

If you are already injured, massage can help with your recovery process. Some injuries are brought about by overuse of a particular muscle or muscles. Overuse injuries often result in sore, painful and inflamed muscles - massage can help to reduce the initial inflammation that leads to an overuse injury.

As a word of caution do not have a deep tissue, remedial massage or sports massage less than a week before your running event. The reason for this is that at this stage the muscles need to be building up an abundance of energy in preparation for the event - having deep tissue or remedial work at this time will cause the body to repair and heal which will use the energy reserves needed for the event.

At some events there are massage therapists providing pre and post massages for the runners. It is fine to receive these massages, as the techniques used will focus on warming up your muscles. Also, a massage after the event will help relax your overworked muscles and enable them to recover faster.

Other things to consider when training and to avoid injury are to ensure you’re wearing the right running shoes, stretching fully and using the correct running techniques.

You don’t need to be a runner to benefit from a focussed leg massage session. You may be feeling an ache or pain in your knee, which is sometimes caused by tightness in the hamstrings or quads. Also a cause of pain in your feet may be caused by tightness in your calves.

Good luck with your running training and do consider receiving regular massages to help keep your muscles supple and injury free.

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Hello, my name is Grace and I run my complementary therapy business, Natural Grace Therapies in South London. I offer a range of treatments including massage, aromatherapy and reflexology. With my blog I hope to share with you the benefits of various complementary treatments and anything else health related that catches my eye.

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