Myofascial release is simply a fancy term for what happens when you receive a massage. Professional massages are expensive however, which leads to many people turning to self-massage for exercise recovery. New products enter the market each day, each with a unique twist, to help achieve the goal of faster recovery. Here are 3 reasons why myofascial release speeds up recovery.
1) Blood Flow
Blood flow's role in healing is overlooked all the time. This is puzzling because blood flow is critical to the body's repair process. The blood carries new building blocks (protein, amino acids) to repair sites to enhance recovery, and helps removes the waste products, dead cells, or damaged cells from the body. Healthy blood flow is also crucial in carrying hormones that allow the body to communicate with itself and stay in balance.
Knots and tension in our muscles hinder blood flow. Myofascial release relaxes the muscle gets rids of knots. By eliminating barriers (knots) and hills (tension) the blood flow increases to sore areas, allowing the body to do what it is supposed to do, heal.
2) Increase Mobility
Similar to stretching, massage and the corresponding myofascial release relaxes the muscle increasing mobility/flexibility. This allows for a wider range of motion, prevents injuries and overuse, allows for more consistent training. In this way massage not only feels good, but improves your long-term health and fitness.
3) Strengthens Immune System
“The immune system is a major factor in the body's battle to ward off infection and heal injuries. Pulls in the fascia cause the immune system's lymphatic flow to become sluggish. This, compounded by a less active lifestyle or limitations in movement caused by pain, creates, even more, dysfunction in the lymphatic system. Myofascial Release increases the circulation of lymph throughout your body which thus increases the speed or your recovery from injuries and illness.”- John F. Barnes P.T.
You may be thinking "These three benefits are great, but where does massage fit into my routine?” Massage should be done in the morning to help increase blood flow and wake up, succeeding a workout to help improve muscle recovery, and before going to bed to help you relax and sleep. Now, knowing the benefits of myofascial release, feel better tomorrow by getting a massage today!