There are huge health benefits for anyone who was once sedentary and who takes up regular physical activity. Sport is highly exciting because of the thrill a win brings, but in terms of health, you don’t even need to be highly trained to gain lots of benefits from regular exercise.
With sport, proper training principles are important to prevent injuries. Preventing an injury is a lot easier than rehabilitating one. Wise decisions surrounding sport is the path to faster times, more flexibility, better blood circulation, fewer injuries and better health.
Massage Geared Towards Sport Performance
There are different massage styles, and if you’re an Olympic marathon runner, for instance, you won’t be looking at some massages for sheer relaxation. You’ll be looking at those geared to:
- Improving your sport performance
- Releasing tight muscles
- Improving flexibility
- Reducing pain
- Increasing range of motion.
Sports Massage Involved Deep Work
Each massage therapist has specific techniques that they use, but some basic types are commonly used to help treat the athlete. These sports massages, also known as orthopedic massage or clinical massage, involve deep work.
Some techniques used are Effleurage, Petrissage, Friction, Tapotement and Vibration. Vibration, for instance, is effective in pre-event massage sessions. This is where the therapist shakes muscle groups to promote improved circulation and relaxation.
Anyone involved in a big sporting event can benefit from a pre-event massage a week or so before an event. You don’t want to get a sports massage too close to the event because this can give you soreness on the day.
Calming and Repairing
Often when you watch a marathon race on TV, you notice massages being offered at the finish line. These help to calm the nervous system of the runners and allow the body to start its repair and recovery quicker.
There is so much at stake with a sport that you can’t risk booking an appointment with a massage therapist a day or two before the event. There are fake operators around and you want to do research and get referrals for a licensed massage therapist. One which has been specifically trained in orthopedic treatment would be a huge bonus.
A sports massage is quite different from a Swedish massage, so you’re not going to experience a ‘spa-like’ session with a sports massage. A runner’s sports massage, for instance, will focus essentially on the legs.
However, if a runner is dealing with a serious injury, you have to remember that a massage therapist isn’t there to diagnose the problem. You would have to see a sports doctor. Once a diagnosis is given, a massage therapist can work with that information and use massage as a vital aspect of recovery.
Include Massage into Training
Dedicated sportspeople put passionate effort into training for hours every day. Athletes can enhance their performance by including massage in their training. This can prevent injuries and the overtraining of muscles.
In fact, symptoms of overtraining can be emotional, behavioral or physical, with the most common symptom being fatigue. Many athletes become irritable, depressed and have altered sleep patterns. They even lose their competitive drive.
Physical symptoms include persistent muscular soreness, viral illnesses and an increased incidence of injuries. Prevention is the key. People in the know say that sport massage isn’t a luxury, but an investment in your sport and investment in results too.
What is this All-Important Sports Massage?
Sports Massage is a range of massage techniques specifically for athletes to assist with recovery. For active people too, not involved in sport, it prevents injuries. Sports massage serves other valuable purposes as well. Pre-event sports massages can provide athletes with lower blood pressure, more flexibility and an increase in strength.
Because of the repetitive nature of some sports, some people develop limitations in range of motion as well as aches and pains from repetitive use. Sports massage tackles that. Sports massage is also beneficial post-event, speeding up recovery. Massage certainly assists with recovery by helping the body get rid of blood lactate. This is the lactic acid in the blood when tissues don’t receive sufficient oxygen during anaerobic metabolism.
Every sports person longs to be relaxed and at peace before a big event and sports massage can also provide athletes with the benefit of being relaxed, putting them into a good mental state. This can be beneficial for life in general.
Why worry before a huge event when you can simply set aside an hour or two to relax and unwind with a sports massage? Knowing what the massage can do for you, you can clarify what you have to focus on and set your health, fitness and sporting goals with confidence.