The importance of recovery for any athlete cannot be over-emphasized. A contrast bath involves
immersing the joint in alternating hot and cold water, which helps to increase blood flow to
the area and accelerate metabolic healing. Contrast bath therapy also causes numbness in the
joint or muscle and increases the elasticity of the ligaments, giving our athletes greater range
of motion. The process works through a repetition of two processes known as vasodilation and
vasoconstriction. The hot water causes vasodilation, or the widening of the blood vessels, while
the cold water causes vasoconstriction, which is when the blood vessels tighten. A contrast
bath alternates between these two processes in order to create a pumping action in the area
receiving the treatment. This pumping action increases blood flow and helps to drain excess
fluids out of a swollen joint or muscle.
Massage therapy increases flexibility. For an athlete to maintain optimal performance, he must
have a high degree of flexibility. No matter which sport or sports the athlete is involved in, if
he can gain more flexibility though massage therapy, then he will have an advantage over his
competitors. Since massage therapy stretches the muscle fibers, flexibility is promoted and
Massage therapy improves circulation. With better circulation, the athlete can breathe easier
and move more smoothly. Since the practice of massage helps with blood flow, the circulation
of the athlete will be improved and this will enhance his performance levels.
Massage therapy alleviates muscle pain. If an athlete is in pain due to an injury, he will not be
playing his best game. With regular massage therapy, muscle pain can be curbed and the athlete
can do his best job without being side tracked by pain issues.
Massage therapy promotes better sleep patterns. By getting regular massages, an athlete can
actually improve the quantity and quality of sleep he is getting. By getting more sound sleep, the
athlete is better able to perform at an optimal level.
Massage therapy increases relaxation levels. When an athlete canít relax and has no real down
time, stress can begin to take a toll on his health. By getting massages, he can learn to relax his
body and his mind and improve his day to day life.