Issue #156


by Juan Carlos Lopez

20 Questions with Cover Model Carolina Quiñones

Video Interview with Amateur Bikini Annalisse Quiñones

Carolina Quiñones, Alicia Alfaro, Allison Sinisi, Ariell Rosenblad & Hayley Nasby

by Tina Jo Orban

Video Interview with Amateur Bikini Aimee Cosban



Sports Massage and Competition Benefits by Tina Jo Orban ACE and ISSA CFT.

Would you like to win? Of course you would. You do everything you can when you compete (no matter what your sport is) to win. Why else would you compete?

If your training and nutrition are already “dialed in” is there anything more you can do? Some say visualization [1] is very helpful. Besides this, what else can give you a competitive edge?  Sports Massage is known to IMPROVE PERFORMANCE and function, allow for FASTER RECOVERY from training and injury and DECREASE CORTISOL[2] levels. If you are training full bore: bumping up your cardio and decreasing calories, chances are you are going to be prone to fatigue and injury. In addition to this while putting your body under that sort of physical stress, your cortisol levels rise. These demands can lead to lean mass loss. This means protein metabolism! Your body will begin to breakdown its own lean tissue. This occurs a little certainly with most competitors naturally as they near competition date (I recall this well). There are many competitors’ backstage discussions of “ketosis” as desirable. But what if you could decrease your cortisol levels with manual therapy? You can. Sports Massage achieves a couple of important benefits for the athlete.

To begin it mitigates stress. Regular massage has been shown to decrease stress levels and the aforementioned the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is not your friend [3]. This will help you retain your lean mass you worked so hard for! Massage has also been shown to increase a sense of well being and positive mental state which has been shown to decrease recovery time. So let us say you are hitting it hard, dieting and really pushing your self physically, with pre-event and maintenance massages one can have the edge over the competitor simply by ‘kicking back’. It is easy, rewarding and relaxing. 

But what and how to go about it? Sports Massage is a bit different than running to your local massage spa. Sports Massages should be on a schedule that follows and facilitates your event and training protocol. There are some basic things you should look for when seeking this edge to winning. To begin, select a therapist who is certified. The best certification is national. Look for a massage therapist with a National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) license. If you are in California also look for CAMTC therapist status. Next you will want to pick a therapist with preferably a sports or coaching background and is familiar working with athletes. You should ensure they have specific sports massage training. There is a reason. Not all massage therapist is sports massage therapist. There is specialist, just like in any field.

Sports Massage is unique in that it changes the modality in treatment depending on your training schedule and competition date. Pre-event, post event and maintenance massage are all very different. A good sports massage therapist will know what to deliver. In general, maintenance massage which is typically a full one hour sessions is geared on full body and joint mobility. That is keeping your joint mobility at its full range of motion using techniques such as facilitated stretch and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. The entire body gets worked whole muscle groups are worked in general. Relaxation is also a goal in maintenance massage. That is its is a Gestalt approach[4] to the body. Maintenance massage is pretty much kept to a minimum of TWO DAYS POST competition and up to a Few DAYS BEFORE your competition. The massage just prior to your competition is called just that PRE-event massage and is a very different protocol.

Pre-event massage should be applied just before the event. Thus on the morning of competition if you can have your therapist travel with you: they should work your muscles about 10-15 short minutes. You won’t believe what this brisk fast paced does for muscles’ appearance. They will look toned, firm and fuller. And they will functionally be ready for movement, verses stiffness and or cramping that can occur due to dehydration and tension that accompany fitness/figure/bodybuilding contestants. It seems luxurious, but if you can have a dedicated therapist work with you, pre-event. It is one cutting edge you can have in your tool box as a competitor.

Next, Post-event will help you relax and repair more rapidly than you would otherwise. Post event massages AKA “Recovery Massage” are longer and less vigorous. They should be performed at the very least two hours after you compete and up to 48 hours after. (After 48 hours you move into maintenance massage).

The benefits are reduced hypertonic muscles, reduced cramps, regained flexibility, decreased DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) It also will address over use dysfunctional patterns that you may have developed while training and competing. So besides recovering more quickly and allowing you to relax, recovery and maintenance massage thus can decrease the chance of injury. This is the Sports Massage edge. So if you are serious about competing and you can invest in yourself, add Sports Massage to your already kick ass training and be a champion!

[1] Athletic Visualization “mental rehearsal or other such techniques can maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your training. In a world where sports performance and success is measured in seconds, most athletes will use every possible training technique at hand.” Source: VeryWellfit.com Mar. 17 2018.



[3] Cortisol  is a hormone from the adrenal cortex aids in the metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrates.[2] It also decreases bone formation.


[4] Gestalt; derived from psychological theory used here as an adjective an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts. Webster Dictionary.

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