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Compression recovery boots - what's the hype?

Mapp Massage has got some exciting news for North Devon's athletes because, as well as sports massages, we're now offering the use of Air Relax Recovery Boots.


You might have seen images of people looking like spacemen wearing full length compression recovery boots and wondered what the heck they were doing.


Well, read on to find out everything you've ever wanted to know about recovery boots, how they work and when you can start using them at the Mapp Massage clinic!


What on earth are recovery boots and how do they work?


As the name suggests, they key aim of compression recovery boots is to help you recover faster and get back to training more quickly after a hard training session or race.


You literally zip each leg into a boot which comes up to just below your hips (or higher depending how short / long your legs are!). Each boot then has a tube running down it which inflates the four different chambers.


At the other end these wires link up to a unit on which you set your chosen mode and pressure level, and away you go.


The Air Relax Recovery Boots run for 15 minutes at a time and use compression therapy to apply direct pressure to your leg muscles which temporarily restricts blood flow to the area.


When the pressure is taken away, blood full of nutrients rushes back to your muscles. This inflation and deflation at regular intervals mimics your muscles' natural pump which it does to flush out any waste and increase lymphatic drainage.


So what's the benefit and how will they help me recover?


Don't just take my word for it - there have been multiple studies conducted into the effects of compression on muscle recovery, and there are some links below if you'd like to read more.


Some of the benefits of compression recovery boots include:

  • Improved circulation - blood flow in the legs has been shown to increase after using compression therapy

  • Increased lymphatic drainage

  • Helps get rid of waste products such as lactic acid - it's been proven that dynamic compression reduces lactate levels faster than resting alone

  • Improves your range of motion - flexibility is important for all athletes (and it's something runners especially neglect) and compression recovery boots have been proven to increase range of motion

  • Reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMs) - reducing your DOMs lets you run again faster than you would without compression therapy

  • Allows you to start doing hard sessions much sooner

  • Gives you 15 minutes to sit and do nothing!


What do recovery boots feel like?


Ever had your blood pressure taken at the doctors? If so, you'll know that it's not exactly the most pleasant sensation in the world but it definitely doesn't hurt (unless they're doing something wrong!).

Recovery boots provide the exact same sensation albeit on a much bigger scale. It's definitely a strange feeling as the boots get tighter and tighter while they inflate.


The pressure builds and builds before reaching its maximum point, at which it holds for a few seconds before releasing some air out and beginning to inflate back up to maximum again.


As soon as the 15 minutes is up you'll feel a rush of warmth in your quads, even though they may not feel hot to touch. This is the blood returning to your muscles.


Depending how your legs react, you may get some pretty intense pins and needles for a few minutes afterwards, but that just means it's working!


Who should be using recovery boots?


Pretty much anyone! If you've got poor circulation, take ages to recover after sessions or get some pretty intense DOMs after strength sessions, then compression recovery boots are for you.


They mimic your body's natural ability to flush out toxins, but act faster than your body possibly could.


If you've got any questions or want to know more, please feel free to email mappmassage@gmail.com or call/text 07791 216692.


When can I try them out?


Mapp Massage is going to be holding an open day very soon for people to come and test the boots out for free.


By signing up to our mailing list you'll be the first to find out the date and book an appointment. Slots are available on a first come, first served basis and will be limited.


After the open day clients will be able to book a 30 minute slot to use the Air Relax Recovery Boots and there will be a £10 charge for this.


Use of the boots is not a replacement for a sports massage, and will not be included as part of a regular one hour massage. This service must be booked in addition to a sports massage.


Once the open day has been announced to subscribers it will be posted on Facebook to fill any remaining slots. Keep your eyes peeled!

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