Aside from the obvious relaxing effect of massage, it also:
Like all components of a training regimen, massage therapy is most effective when used regularly. One-time treatments, like the booths set up after a race, are not as effective.
Unknowledgeable athletes may seek massage therapy for the first time the day before a big race. This is usually not a good idea. Light massage before a race is OK, but therapeutic massage administered to an athlete unaccustomed to regular massage treatments may result in fatigue and be counter- roductive.
I use two types of massage therapy in my training regimen:
Unfortunately, I find the latter—my preferred form of therapy—more difficult to find.
While the benefits of massage are vast, there are times when it is inappropriate. Massage should be avoided immediately after injuries that have bad swelling or bruises, or for athletes with open wounds or contagious skin conditions.