Sports Massage can benefit anyone, not just those involved in sport. Sports Massage is so-called simply because it is a form of remedial massage treatment favoured by sports people for preventing and treating sports related injuries and enhancing performance.
Many athletes believe that a complete training programme should include not just the exercise and correct nutrition, but also regular Sports Massage. Because each sport uses muscle groups in different ways, a qualified sports massage practitioner will have a sound knowledge of the muscular and skeletal systems, and tailor the treatment for each individual athlete.
Sports Massage is invaluable to sports people during training and competition. Pre-event massage warms up and stimulates the muscles in preparation for the work ahead and can also have accompanying positive psychological effects. Post-event massage is important in helping sore muscles to detoxify, stretch, re-align and heal in readiness for the next bout of activity.
Just as sports people work hard in training and competing, many prople are also working very hard at their jobs, looking after the house and garden, and caring for families. Our bodies are put under similar stresses and strains resulting in back pain, joint pain, work-related injuries and postural problems. Sports Massage results in pain reduction, improves the condition of muscles and joints, and promotes health.
Sports Massage is beneficial whatever your level of involvement in sport or activity or indeed, inactivity!
The primary aim of Sports Massage is to restore and maintain full function to muscles and other soft tissues (joints, tendons and ligaments). This can simply mean easing the tension that has built up in your shoulders over long hours in the office, or restoring maximum performance to an over-trained muscle group in an athlete.
It is an effective, non-invasive treatment that works to relieve specific pain and tension from sore, tight muscles. Techniques focus on the deeper layers of the muscles, breaking down muscle 'knots', assisting the circulation and encouraging the natural repair process. The beneficial effects on health come from the impact of this treatment physically, biologically and psychologically:
Directed stretches are applied to restore flexibility and mobility to muscles and joints, and to prevent the build up of muscular tension which occurs through excessive or repeated use, injury and postural strain.
Massage stimulates the circulation via the pumping effect which flushes the muscles with fresh nutrient-filled blood. This is particularly important in post-exercise recovery to reduce muscle soreness, post-injury to promote healing, and when tense muscles ache and feel tired because of sluggish circulation and toxic build up. This pumping effect also aids lymphatic drainage thus removing excessive tissue fluid and filtering out toxins which can accumulate following intense activity, through injury or in certain medical conditions.
Following injury, surgery or certain disease processes scar tissue forms. The formation of scar tissue can be prevented or reduced by specific massage techniques which mobilise the area and aid the healing process. This can help to treat the 'hard lumps' and 'knots' that are often felt in muscles. Functional recovery of the structure is optimised and re-injury prevented.
The effects on the nervous system are varied and numerous. Sports Massage not only relieves tension from individual muscle groups but it also has the effect of releasing tension, both physical and emotional, throughout the body. This accounts not only for some of the pain reducing effects but also for the feeling of relaxation. It also positively affects certain medical conditions such as stress and anxiety, migraines, high blood pressure and fibromyalgia.