If you think massage is all about lavender and wind chimes, think again. Not only do elite athletes use massage as a secret weapon to speed recovery, most NBA, NFL, and MLB teams also employ full-time massage therapists. Massage was reported to be a key factor that helped Cy Young Award–winning Giants pitcher Jake Peavy getting his starting spot back. Plus, science has confirmed the effectiveness of massages in relieving pain, lowering blood pressure, and reducing stress.
But not just any massage will do. Here’s how to find the right treatment—and the right therapist—for your specific needs.