How Massages Will Boost Your Performance

MASSAGE101

Women runners can benefit from any one of these myriad massage techniques.
  • Swedish Massage: A system of four long strokes and kneading techniques focused on the superficial layers of muscles. Swedish massage focuses on improving blood flow to the skin and muscles and removing tension.
  • Deep Tissue: This technique focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and releasing tension with slow, deep and concentrated strokes and finger pressure. This type of massage is especially beneficial for chronically tense muscles, such as the shoulders, neck and back.
  • Hot Stone: Heated basalt mineral stones are placed at pressure points on the back, between the toes or in the palms of the hand. The warmth of the stones increases circulation and relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist to apply deeper pressure.
  • Myofascial Release: This type of massage uses long stretching strokes to fully elongate fascia, the thin layer of connective tissue covering muscles that helps maintain body posture and provide support. The result is improved posture, reduced pain, muscle-tension relief and increased joint mobility.
  • Shiatsu: Also called acupressure, this technique is performed with the thumbs and fingers along pressure points or meridians in the body to relieve and prevent ailments.
  • Reflexology: This technique is based on the concept that the body's organs and glands correspond to re_ exes in the hands and feet. Therapists use stretching and apply pressure to points on the feet to send signals to the brain that balance the nervous system and produce endorphins.
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