Sports massage is the specific treatment of the body to help recover from an injury, improve exercise performance, to warm-up, relax before working out or part of your training program for a competition using soft tissue massage techniques. We would argue that you cant massage a ‘sport’ but it’s in the name; a Sports massage originally got the name due to helping lots of sporting individuals however proved popular over the years to help all kind of ailments faced in every day life. Over the years, sports massage has developed with enhanced techniques especially when booking with a Specialist Soft Tissue Therapist.
In most cases of aches and pains; Sports Massage can prove to be of significant advantage.
Sports massage techniques entail relaxation, warming-up, and preparing for more strenuous work. Some of the methods used for sports massage include massages techniques, friction (both longitudinal and transverse), stretching, different use of precise pressures, soft tissue release (a technique used to improve flexibility of the tissues).
Sports massage is primarily aimed at reducing the stress and tension that piles up in the body over the course of time due to activities of daily living. In the event of minor injuries caused by excessive physical strains on the body, sports massage is an excellent method to rapidly and effectively break those minor injuries down. A sports massage is also advantageous to sportspersons, weekend warriors and hardcore fitness athletes to help reduce or eliminate incidents that prevent maximum performance and individual potential.
Sports massage has a lot of similarities with other types of massage therapy. The similarity among them is related through the knowledge of the body physiology and structure. By being knowledgeable about the human anatomy and the effects of exercise, you will get to appreciate the importance of massage therapy on men and women that engage in sporting activities and also find the need to implement sports massage in their training program.
The benefits of a Sports Massage
Sports massage has proved to be very beneficial in preparing athletes and in treating injuries.
Below are some of the benefits of sports massage:
Psychologically; sports massage helps to minimise muscle tension, helps get rid of metabolic waste in our muscles, improves relaxation and improves the appearance of skin including scar tissues by increasing blood circulation to the affected area.
Physically; sports massage enhances overall flexibility by working and stretching the muscles and other tissues (Fascia being one) in every direction, which improves the muscular texture and efficiency which helps reduce tension of the tendons which often cause pain on their insertion points on the bone due to increased tension forces. It also increases tissue quality by enabling effective absorption of essential nutrients in the tissue membrane of targeted muscles and excreting waste materials. Furthermore, improved blood flow improves the efficiency of the transportation of nutrients and oxygenated blood to the tissues.
Physiologically; sports massage helps to control pain caused by waste products and stress accumulated in the body by eliminating waste products, calming the body and minimising anxiety. It also helps to stimulate relaxation by stimulating blood flow and increasing flexibility both of which are features that aid relaxation and reduce pain.
The benefits of sports massage in both athletes and individuals that engage in other activities (sporting or non sporting) are tremendous!! It is an essential form of therapy because it can be used before, during and after participating in a sporting activity; and also for rehabilitation purposes. When provided by a professional, this type of massage is excellent if you are looking to improve on your personal performance and also minimise the risk of injuries during a session.