This is a massage typically used before, during or after sports/ athletic events. It helps to prepare for peak performance, increasing blood circulation and lymph flow, drains away fatigue, relieving swelling and reducing muscle tension promoting flexibility and minimises injuries. Normally, these are muscles that have seen repetitive and aggressive movement as a part of the overall sport or competition. This massage focuses on those muscles that have seen a large degree of stress and use, often to the point of overuse.
The Key benefits for Sports Massage:
- Motion and Flexibility: Professional and superior athletes often overtrain and this leads to muscle rigidity. Sports massage can help relax overly tense muscles and provide additional flexibility. Used before a competition, it will relax the muscles for flexibility, improving performance.
- Shortens Recovery Time: Exercise and competition is stressful on the body, if the pre care/ aftercare is not in place it can lead to injury. Sports massage is ideal to help the body deal with this stress and injury prevention. Assisting in the body’s natural healing process, speeding waste removal and general health improvement. Swelling and inflammation associated with physical activity is also reduced. Scar tissue, normal from a severe injury, can be lessened with massage.
- Supply of Oxygen and Nutrients: Blood flow into muscles is vital to create new tissue, increase strength and stamina. Massage increases blood flow for additional oxygen and nutrients.
- Helps Eliminate By-Products of Exercise: Lactic and uric acids are natural by-products of exercise. Each can be lessened with blood and lymph flow in the body and increase the waste output by massage.
- Psychological Benefits: The body is only as strong as the mind, so having a strong mind that is relaxed and focused is a definite edge in highly competitive sports. A stressed athlete is not nearly as capable as one with a clear mind.
- Reduces Pain: A body in pain is a sign of overworked muscles and is not healthy. Massage increases blood and lymph fluid flow as mentioned above, thereby speeding the injury rehabilitation process. A massage also helps with pain from spasms and cramps, common with elite athletic training.
Sports massage is now recognized by many in the training industry as an accepted component to an overall regimen of training and competition. This means the athlete can enhance pre-competition and reduce the required recovery period, which means a better and more intensive training session after competition. Flexibility and muscular endurance, necessary components of any athletic completion, is also enhanced.