Soft-tissue treatment is an important part of the recovery process for many physical sports and Jiu Jitsu is no exception.
Massage is one of the most effective preventative and injury rehabilitation methods. Massage is used to speed recovery following gruelling multi-session training days, cross-training sessions (strength and conditioning) during high-intensity build-up weeks before competitions and of course competition itself.
Massage also plays a part in the prevention of injury, especially those that might arise due to over training.
How Massage Therapy Helps
The physical effects of massage therapy can greatly improve a Jiu Jitsu player’s health and lifestyle by alleviating pain and reducing potential for injury in several ways.
The ultimate impact of sports massage therapy is to increase the health of the body's internal tissues by improving circulation of blood and nutrients, while simultaneously removing toxins. This is accomplished by varying methods of massage therapy.
Massage Therapists are able to assist, by increasing a fresh blood and oxygen supply and removing toxins that have built up in the tissue. Deep massages help to regulate the pores in the fibrous tissues, which increases permeability. This allows for more fluids and nutrients to flow through the tissues. Waste products are removed and new oxygen and nutrients are supplied.
Stretching of the tissues during a massage helps muscle fibers release tension and pressure build up. The massage helps stretch muscles lengthwise and sideways along the natural flow of circulation and the muscle tissues. Some of the following claimed benefits should result from basic massage techniques, whereas others will tend to come from more advanced and focused techniques that include but are not limited to:
Benefit #1: Flexibility
As a Jiu Jitsu practitioner, it is important to maximise the ability to achieve optimal performance, by exhibiting a high degree of flexibility.
Flexibility is promoted and maintained. High volume or intensity training and competition usually lead to increased muscle tension. If this happens you will experience a reduction in overall flexibility and an increased chance of injury.
Intense training causes microscopic damage (micro-trauma) to the muscle and fascial tissue. That damage must be repaired via increased blood flow (i.e., nourishment). Since massage helps the blood flow, the circulation of the Jiu Jitsu practitioner will be improved and this will enhance his or her performance levels. This will have a great impact on lymphatic and blood circulation, influencing waste removal from these areas, as well as food and oxygen supply to these areas. All of this leads to faster recovery and an earlier return to effective training.
Tight muscles are also problematic in the opposite direction of blood flow. Tight muscles slow down blood flow to the muscles, in addition to the removal of metabolites. Remember it is in the recovery phase of training that strength adaptation occurs. Nutrients gained via adequate nutrition are transported in the blood to rebuild broken-down tissues and make them stronger. If the muscles are tight, then that will reduce that blood flow during the recovery phase. The result will be less than adequate progress.
Benefit #3: Pain Reduction
Massage alleviates muscular pain, whether caused by overwork or injury. If an athlete is in pain, the athlete will not be able to perform to their maximum potential. Chronic or acute pain unavoidably psyches out the athlete. The less pain that is felt, the better the athlete will perform. Pain is a signal that something is wrong, so that will have to be dealt with. Massage will often be part of the required rehabilitation process.
Benefit #4: Sleep Improvement
Massage therapy promotes REM (Rapid Eye Movement). REM is a sign of a deep sleep that can be achieved through Massage. A deep sleep means rest that is necessary for peak performance. Jiu Jitsu practitioners in a high-tension state will have difficulty reaching REM and may often wake during the night or wake too early. All of this compromises recovery. Massage will reduce some of that tension and promote deeper and longer sleep. Volume and intensity are not just important in your training. They apply to sleep parameters as well.
Benefit #5: Decreased Tension
Massage therapy increases muscle relaxation levels. Many Jiu Jitsu players exhibit that hard driving, train as much as you can personality where relaxing is difficult. With regular massage, such an athletes can learn to relax body and mind which may assist in improving performance.
By having a deep pressure massage at least once per week, athletes can maintain peak performance of the bodies. This includes - flexibility, relaxation, a better sleep cycle and both preventative and rehabilitation measures to injury.
Give the gift of massage to yourself. Your body and your performance will thank you for it.
Treatments at Garra Jiu Jitsu can be booked in at 1hour blocks at $70. Book in for your session by contacting Numia on 0488216881 (text messages accepted).