How to decrease recovery time after exercise with massage & bodywork


It always surprises me the amount of people that don’t understand just how effective a good sports massage session can be.  When carried out by a skilled and experienced therapist recovery time can be greatly improved enabling you to work out more effectively and generally feel better.


There are many benefits to massage and bodywork but I have narrowed it down to my top 3 reasons to book in with a skilled therapist on a regular basis!


1. Helps to carry away waste products released from the muscles during exercise.


Post exercise massage when carried out by a skilled and experienced therapist has major benefits on the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems. Massage stimulates both of these systems helping to remove excessive toxins released during exercise taking them away from the muscles and preventing fibrositis from forming. When the removal of toxins is fast tracked the quicker our muscles recover.


2. Preventing the delay of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)


We know that when we exercise hard, intense muscle soreness is a given, especially after an event or specific training. It may take up to 24 hours for the soreness to present and in some cases 48 hours. The main objective in the prevention of DOMS is to stimulate lymphatic drainage, separate muscle tissues, identify muscles/soft tissue tension and promote relaxation.


Post exercise/event massage does all of the above!


3. Identify & Treat injuries


Obviously, major injuries will be self- evident but minor problems and micro-tears can easily be missed. When missed and ‘worked through’, they can become chronic causing all sorts of problems.


Research has shown that when injured tissue is massaged it heals with less scaring and the repair of the tissue is 5-7 times faster than tissue that is not massaged. Scar tissue wreaks havoc when left to develop after an injury and will have a knock on effect if not addressed.

I see it all the time with clients in the clinic and when I dig a little deeper it’s usually a reoccurring injury that was never addressed overall. For example, if you are prone to spraining your ankle and never had it addressed 100%, (hands on, rehab etc) then the chances are you will keep on spraining it! You may also experience problems presenting in other muscles due to the scar tissue hindering the muscle flexibility.


How I like to work


During a session I discuss how the clients’ training is going, any concerns and what the objective is for our session. Sometimes I like to break the body down into isolated zones to treat or it may be a full bodywork session to take in all the systems. We discuss and plan an approximate time frame. Within three sessions we should both see a difference or one of us is doing something wrong! Clients can react to massage and bodywork differently and this is why I suggest three sessions and then we can have a chat.

Depending on the objective, once a week is recommended for maintenance massage to give the body and mind an overall feeling of homeostasis and to help the individual to work out more efficiently.


I work from my clinic in Rathfarnham by appointment Mondays & Fridays and mobile in the Dublin area Tues/Wed/Thurs

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