The Benefits of Reflexology for Athletes - Sports Injury
Whether you’re a pro-athlete, semi-pro, or participate in a sporting activity to keep fit and healthy, incorporating reflexology into your fitness regime can be hugely beneficial.
Reflexology can bring about a positive effect to an Athletes overall physical health, performance and emotional wellbeing, by helping you to relax and recover faster from injuries and surgeries.
Reflexology helps to encourage lymphatic drainage. According to research at Bonash University, Australia, Reflexology can remove lactic acid from the legs four times faster than massage, a helpful relief from tightness in the legs.
Reflexology can help to increase blood circulation to an injured area of the body, removing toxins and bringing in oxygen, nutrients, minerals, enzymes and hormones, while also removing toxins and waste products (generated by extended muscle exertion). Helping to support the body’s natural ability to heal itself, and promote faster recovery from injuries. Since the blood stream is responsible for supplying the muscles with nutrients and oxygen, increased circulation can assist in preventing cramps, spasms, aches and pains associated with extended exercise.
Reflexology can help to reduce pain, such as knee pain or foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis , neuroma or tendonitis. These conditions can be addressed by surgery, but as more athletes want to avoid drugs and reduce the time off due to surgery, Reflexology becomes a valuable tool. Reflexology also helps for sports that stress the shoulders, arms, and hands such as golf or tennis, treatments help to address issues such as tennis elbow and forearm pain.
If you have an injury to an area of the foot which is too painful to work directly, a Reflexologist can work on your hand instead as the hand is the “referral area” for the foot.
Reflexology promotes deep relaxation, which may help to improve sleep and ease tension leading up to a sporting event. Stress and tension tightens the cardiovascular system and restricts blood flow, causing it to become sluggish. This results in the tissues becoming oxygen-deprived; the energy in the body becomes depleted, making all body systems suffer. By stimulating the nerve endings on the feet this can keep the body’s circulation flowing smoothly, which rejuvenates tired tissues. For highly competitive sports it is best to have reflexology two or three days before an event...as staying psyched up requires adrenalin and a certain amount of tension.
Reflexology encourages your body to achieve homeostasis, helping to better address the symptoms you are experiencing.
Reflexology is completely natural, having no harmful side effects, and so will not exaserbate the issue.
Reflexology sessions can be easily incorporated into your fitness routine, and a reflexologist can demonstrate self-help techniques to try at home or at a sporting event, to help speed up the recovery process from strain or pain. Helping to enhance your physical and emotional wellbeing and overall performance.
Examples of Sports Injuries
- Sprains and Strains affecting Muscles and Ligaments (Common places Knees, Ankles, Wrists and Thumbs)
- Shin Splints (Painful Shins) pain in the front of the Lower Legs, or Shins. Most common cause Medial Tibia Stress Syndrome (MTSS)
- Back Pain (Lumbar Area) "...but can be felt in the neck, shoulders, buttocks or lower limbs".
- Bone Injuries, including Fractures (a Broken Ankle, Arm, Leg, Toe, Finger)
- Hamstring (Tears to the Tendon or Muscle) Injury Grade 1 - a mild muscle pull or strain, 2 - Partial Tear, 3 - Complete Muscle Tear
- Head Injuries (Minor Head Injury)
- Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis) microtears and thickening to the tissue of the plantar fascia
- Joint Inflammation Bursitis and Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow is a type of Tendonitis and Achilles Tendonitis.
- Knee Pain, Including Ligament, Meniscus and Cartilage Damage (Patellar Tendonitis), Housemaid's Knee (Bursitis), Anterior Knee Pain Syndrome, Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
- Shoulder Pain Rotator Cuff Disorders, Shoulder Instability (Hypermobility), Acromioclavicular Joint Disorders, Fracture of the Humerus (Upper-Arm Bone) or Broken Collar Bone (Fractured Clavicle).
NHS Choices (no date) Sports injuries - Examples. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Sports-injuries (Accessed: 19 September 2014).