Sports massage is designed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. But you don’t have to be in the Olympics to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion.
Sports Massage is a special form of massage and is typically used before, during, and after athletic events. The purpose of the massage is to prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries. Not only for the athlete also a great way to keep you going back to the gym and can aid in your fitness/health goals.
Purpose of a Sports Massage
The main purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. The massage will help prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries. Sports massage can help prevent those niggling injuries that so often get in the way of performance and achievement, whether a person is an athlete or a once a week jogger.
Types of Techniques
Depending on the needs of the athlete, a variety of techniques are used. My technique often involves a blend of traditional Swedish Massage, LaStone and Shiatsu specifically designed to treat you.
Each type of sport has different demands on the players. Each sport uses muscle groups in a different way. Sports massage is designed to address those specific concerns and may differ according to the sport the athlete plays. Sports massage can be aimed to help heal strained muscles and allow healthy ones to reach peak performance and maintain it while minimizing the risk of injury.
Why I differ from other therapists is I am trained in athletic performance and have hands on experience with sports and fitness training.
Benefits of Sports Massage
Sports massage has many benefits. In addition to FEELING GOOD, sports massage reduces the heart rate and blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, reduces muscle tension, improves flexibility, and relieves pain. Each sport and athletic event uses muscle groups in a different way.
Sports Massage can also include pre-event, post-event and maintenance techniques that promote greater athletic endurance and performance lessen chances of injury and reduce recovery time.
What Happens During Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a type of Swedish massage that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Some sports massage movements use trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles) and increase range of motion.
There are four types of sports massages:
- pre-event sports massage — a short, stimulating massage 15 – 45 minutes before the event.
It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion.
- post-event sports massage — given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body’s tissues.
- restorative sports massage — given during training to allow the athlete to train harder and with less injury.
- rehabilitative sports massage — aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.