It’s well known that studies have shown massage to be effective in promoting good health. In fact, a new study published in Science Translational Medicine found that therapeutic massage after a hard workout can reduce inflammation and help muscles recover.
That’s not all, massage is also beneficial in reducing stress, boosting immunity, and improving your sleep. Amazingly, our skin is our largest organ and it’s quite responsive. For example, studies prove that babies experiencing human touch have lower heart rates and cry far less than those who do not. After massage sessions, teens with ADHD expressed feelings of happiness and their teachers noted a decrease in fidgeting and distraction. Massage therapy even results in decreased blood pressure in adults with hypertension and improved immune function in women with breast cancer.
At Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women we take massage very seriously. In fact, it’s an essential part of our holistic surf experience. Your massage takes place in your villa overlooking the ocean. It’s a wonderful experience delivered right to your door.
We asked Meridith, local surfer and Las Olas massage therapist, to describe why massage is an important part of catching waves.
How can massage benefit surfers?
Massage promotes proper blood flow to the muscles that are getting used during the activity of surfing which will prevent injury. It also accelerates recovery between sessions, helping the muscles stay loose and not fatigued.
Which style of massage do you practice on surfers? Which muscles do you focus on?
I practice a combination of relaxation and deep tissue massage, helping you relax as well as focusing on areas that need specific work due to repetitive stress injuries or chronic pain. For a post-surf massage, I focus primarily on the muscles of the shoulder girdle, neck, upper chest, and back.
How does relaxation help a surfer’s performance?
A relaxation massage helps calm the mind of the surfer enabling better focus which is required for surfing. The relaxation provides a deep rest state which speeds recovery allowing for maximum effort the following day.
To some, massage is an indulgence. To others, it’s exotic. At Las Olas, it’s essential.
See you in the waves,
Bev Sanders is founder and president of Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women and editor-in-chief of Jennifer’s Journey, online travel portal for women adventurers. She started surfing at 44 continuing her lifelong pursuit of introducing women to sports.
Photo: Karyn Millet
Massage therapist: Vanessa