What is sports massage therapy?
Sports massage is a therapy that is especially designed to focus on reducing the pain in certain parts of the body often caused due to, too much physical activity.
Although, this type of massage was originally developed to serve athletes as a method to prevent and relieve injuries, but sports massage also offers several physiological and psychological benefits to non-athletes too.
Sports massage is actually a compilation of several techniques that works together to improve blood circulation and oxygenation, and deep tissue, which targets and breaks up muscle knots and areas of tightness.
Several experts have discovered that specially designed sports massages not only promotes flexibility, reduces fatigue, improves endurance, but also helps in avoiding injuries and prepares the body and mind for top-class performance.
Additionally, this therapy can also be used as a means to enhance pre-event preparation method and reduce the recovery time and for maximum performance.
That said, due to the targeted nature of this technique, sports massage mainly focuses on the areas of the body that is under stress and requires expert attention, instead of the whole body itself.
Hence, before the massage begins you will be required to inform your therapist about the types of activities that you do. This will help them understand and focus only on those areas of the body that are most affected by that exercise.
Benefits of sports massage
Sports massage is known to have a number of physiological and psychological benefits. Some of these include:
- DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS PREVENTION (DOMS)
The pain caused due to DOMS can only be felt between 24 and 72 hours after the exercise has been performed. Sports massage therapy helps prevent or relieve delayed onset muscle soreness by encouraging blood and lymph flow throughout the body, preventing muscle fatigue.
- STRESS AND PAIN REDUCTION
Sports massage therapy releases neuro-transmitters called endorphins, which act as body's natural pain reliever, and greatly helps in decreasing anxiety, relief from pain, improve mood and enhance a person's state of well-being.
- PUMPING BLOOD ACROSS THE BODY
Tight or damaged muscles squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair. Sports massage creates a vacuum behind to support the flow of the blood to the tissues. Additionally, it also dilates the blood vessels and enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
- STRETCHING OF MUSCLES AND TISSUES
There are many tissues that remain un-stretched in the usual methods. Sports massage not only helps to stretch the muscle fibres, but also supports in stretching of the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, which further releases any tension or pressure that is build up. Besides that, since hard training makes tissues hard and inelastic, this technique also helps in reversing the hardening of the tissues.
- ANXIETY REDUCTION
According to several experts, many people in the sports industry face anxiety issues. Therefore, such a massage that offers relaxation and reduction of anxiety levels can come of great use.
Aside these, massage also helps to....
• Monitor muscle tone
• Promote relaxation
• Increase range of motion
• Enhance performance
• Prevent injuries when massage is received regularly
Hence, for all those who are very cautious about their fitness, a sports massage therapy can be the perfect addition to their normal regimen.