Massage is relaxing, yes, but it is also healing and a preventative measure to keeping your body injury-free, regardless of sport. When regularly and strategically incorporated into a training regimen, massage therapy can help reduce inflammation in soft tissue, improve blood flow, increase range of motion, and calm the mind.
What is an “LMT”?
Just like with medical doctors’ titles, certified massage therapists will have “LMT” after their name – Licensed Massage Therapist. A licensed massage therapist (LMT) meets state standards for education and practice of massage therapy. This means that the LMT has attended a massage therapy education program and is able to safely and effectively act as a masseuse.
Other massage therapists may have “CMT” after their name – Certified Massage Therapist. Certified massage therapists have taken the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEX) and have deepened their knowledge through extra education and knowledge. Many LMT-certified massage therapists will also be certified massage therapists.
When to See a Massage Therapist
Many athletes choose to incorporate massage therapy regularly into their training schedules. However, massage therapy (just like any other therapy) should be considered along with budget, time constraints, and training load.
Danielle Cordon, LMT and GritLink Provider says that overuse is one reason to book an appointment.
“I see a lot of overuse injuries with athletes. Knees, shoulders, feet, back, and neck issues are something most athletes battle at some point in time. It is also common to see tight glutes, weak hamstrings (with stronger quads), and tight pecs.”
Other reasons to visit a massage therapist might include general soreness, muscle activation difficulties, frequent cramping (even after proper warmups and cool downs), a need to calm the mind.
What to Consider Prior to Booking an Appointment
Some massage therapists have specialities – just like doctors! Some may be endurance athletes themselves, some may specialize in lower or upper body, and some may offer speciality treatments like stone massages or Thai massage. Ask the therapist prior to booking your appointment if they offer any specialities – and they may be noted on the provider’s GritLink profile.
Depending on if you are planning on booking ongoing appointments, it may be beneficial to discuss a plan of action. Asking the masseuse if they are comfortable laying out a plan of care for ongoing massage therapy treatment may help give you peace of mind knowing the massage therapist is acutely aware of your needs.
As Stephanie Norby, LMT and GritLink Provider, says, “I call myself a treasure hunter. I’m an investigator. I want to get into the tissues and find out what is going on.”
If foam rolling, ice baths, and getting enough sleep aren’t quite cutting it for muscle stiffness and soreness, take a look at our GritLink massage therapist providers and book an appointment today.
By Kristin Goett. Kristin is a social media marketing and public relations professional who currently resides in the Denver area. A triathlete herself, Kristin knows firsthand how important it is to have access to great providers. When she isn’t checking Instagram or posting to Facebook, Kristin is spending her days in the Colorado mountains and training for her next Ironman.
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