Sports or deep tissue massage is a form of bodywork geared toward participants in athletics. It is used to help prevent injuries, to prepare the body for athletic activity and maintain it in optimal condition, and to help athletes recover from workouts and injuries.
“The scientific manipulation and assessment of soft tissue for the prevention of injuries and therapeutic purposes, involving the restoration to normal functional activity of the various structures of the body, while maintaining good physical condition and health, through mobilising and improving muscle tone, promoting relaxation, stimulating circulation, and producing therapeutic effects on all systems of the body.”
Sports massage has three basic forms:
1. Pre-event massage,
2. Post-event massage,
3. Maintenance massage.
Sports massage can also give valuable information about the athlete’s condition and the effects of their training program. Regular sports massage can help to avoid problems associated with overuse, so allowing for extra training sessions without the risk of injury or trauma.
Sports massage is not necessarily an hour, but is specific to a particular muscle group or for the speedier rehabilitation of a muscle injury. A person does not need to be a top flight athlete to gain from sports massage. Anyone who exercises or seeks to improve their general physical fitness may benefit from treatment – in particular those who do so less regularly.
Sports Massage has five main benefits:
• It helps to maintain the entire body in a better physical condition.
• It reduces the possibility of injury and the loss of mobility, especially in high-risk areas and potential trouble-spots.
• It can aid in the cure of injured muscle tissue and restore mobility.
• It can boost athletic performance and enhance endurance.
• It can extend both the good health and overall life of a sporting “career”.
Main effects to be drawn from sports massage:
• Physically, the pressures of massage along the flow of the lymphatic and venous systems encourages blood with oxygen and other substances (which are essential for repair and growth) to be pumped more effectively through the body. This aids the restoration of normal tissue condition. The process also facilitates the exchange of fluids and helps in the removal of waste products, such as lactic acid. Massage will also stretch muscle fibres and the fascia surrounding muscles, breaking down scar tissue and adhesions.
• Physiologically, massage aids in the reduction of muscle pain and enhances relaxation.
• Psychologically, the client will feel stimulated with a feeling of warmth and readiness to perform. Anxiety may also be relieved.