After Usain Bolt won the gold medal in the recent Olympics, photos and videos came out showing the fastest man on earth lying on a massage table as a therapist works on him. This has led many to speculate that one of the secrets to Bolt’s excellent condition and record-breaking performance is massage therapy. Back in 2012, when Bolt suffered from a tight hamstring muscle, the sprinter immediately turned to massage to solve the problem. Most of us knew what happened at the 2012 London Olympics right? Bolt won the gold medal at the 100-meter sprint. So, what is the link between massage therapy and Bolt’s superhuman speed?
What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy involves the kneading and rubbing of muscles that are sore or fatigued because of strenuous activities. One of the things that you need to know about this particular type of therapy is that it is actually endorsed by the Olympic Committee as a form or recovery technique. Some experts claim that massage therapy helps hasten the recovery of muscles by increasing blood flow to the affected area. As a result lactic acid is flushed. Lactic acid is a compound that is produced during intense exercise. It is known to cause muscle fatigue and soreness.
There are many different kinds of massage therapy. For athletes though such as Usain Bolt, the most beneficial is sports massage. A licensed sports massage therapist can help relieve muscle soreness and even stress. You can only imagine the amount of stress that professional athletes are subjected to especially during big competitions such as the Olympics. Stress can negatively affect an athlete’s performance. If Usain Bolt is feeling a lot of stress, do you think he will be able to break all the records he has broken and win all those gold medals that he has won?
Backed by science
The beneficial effects of massage therapy is actually backed by science. A study done in 2004 discovered that those who undergo regular massage therapy have lower fatigue levels. Of course, the biggest credit for Usain Bolt’s success should go to his dedication and hard work. But we also shouldn’t discredit the role of massage therapy in his recovery.
Please consult with your doctor before engaging in any type of therapy if you have a medical condition or chronic pain.