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The Importance of Sports Massage in the New Millennium

It is my observation that Sport Massage is an essential component of a healthy active lifestyle, especially now, in the 21st century.

Americans are undergoing a shift in lifestyle. This shift is based on the failure of the 20th century paradigm to provide health and wellness, especially in later years of life, and rising costs that have put traditional health care out of reach for many Americans.

This shift between old and new way I characterize as the Old Paradigm Lifestyle giving way to the New Millennium Lifestyle.

The Old Paradigm Lifestyle meant living by a few unspoken rules. Work hard at your career even if it meant sacrifice of your quality of life. Consume a diet of fast food and processed foods. Expect stressful living as normal. Place personal and family relationships secondary to work. Rely on the medical system for health, i.e. repair of degenerative disease due to poor lifestyle. Consider athletic activity to be wasteful leisure time of no real value.

The New Millennium Lifestyle is a way of being that embraces lifestyle as a means to achieve a longer healthier life. Living a New Millennium Lifestyle includes being active and athletic, eating a whole natural foods diet, and having fulfilling career and relationships. The New Millennium Lifestyle recognizes integrative and holistic concepts in health and lifestyle. Yoga, qigong, herbs, acupuncture, homeopathy, massage and bodywork are equally as important as traditional western health care methods such as drugs and surgery. Both the medical and holistic styles complement each other in an integrative fashion.

In California and the rest of America we are seeing ever growing numbers of people in all age groups embrace the New Millennium Lifestyle. It is particularly evidenced by the large numbers of people engaging in athletic activity. On any given Saturday morning in on the Pacific Coast there are thousands of people participating in running, training, yoga, volleyball, and swimming.

Michael Clark, president of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, has said that athletic activity has become the “drug of choice” for maintaining health. But with that choice comes new demands on the body. Athletic activity can cause a variety of body issues such as muscular soreness, or chronic injuries, like shin splints for example.

Once a person begins to lead an active athletic lifestyle, then massage becomes as essential as rest and food. The stresses put on the body from training are largely overcome. Recovery from sports injury is more rapid. Indeed, some injuries can only be overcome with the appropriate kinds of massage.

Although I call it the New Millennium Lifestyle, in most ways it is a return to an older way of living. There is a growing Paleolithic/Primal movement that exemplifies this way of thinking. Proponents of this movement often attend Crossfit Gyms, eat according to a “Paleo” diet, and use sports massage as a means to stay healthy. The old ways are new, once again.

If you intend to live a long, happy and independent life, taking care of your body is an insurance policy for your future. Stay active, be happy, eat well, and find a good strong massage therapist to keep your body moving!

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