What Are The Benefits of Sports Massage
Sports massage has an important role to play in the life of any sports player because it brings a number of physical benefits, even if you haven’t suffered an injury before. It can improve the body condition, boost performance and improve mobility overall, helping to prevent injuries occurring in the first place.
So what are the main physical benefits of sports massage?
- Pumping – if a muscle becomes damaged or tight, it will squeeze the blood out which prevents the vital nutrients coming in to help repair the tissues. The stroking movements in a sports massage will pull fluid through the lymph and blood vessels.
- Opening up tissue pores – a deep massage will open up the pores in tissue membranes which means fluids and nutrients can pass through them more easily. This means muscles can take up the nutrients to recover more quickly and also helps to remove lactic acid.
- Stretching – stretching of tissues using massage to manipulate them will release any build of pressure and tension in the body.
- Improve elasticity – really intense training can result in tissue becoming hard and inflexible so sports massage can stretch the tissue and solve this problem.
According to studies, one of the most common problems suffered by athletes, which can be helped hugely by sports massage, is delayed-onset muscle soreness, more commonly known as DOMS. This is the kind of muscle pain which normally appears several hours after exercise activity and consists of eccentric muscle actions—especially if the client has been trying out different exercises. Studies have shown that DOMS usually develops 12 to 24 hours after the exercise but can produce intense pain up to 24 and 72 hours afterwards. One of the biggest benefits of sports massage is preventing DOMS from occurring by helping to ensure blood and lymph flow through the whole body.
It can also help to relieve pain caused by exercise. Sometimes during physical activity, particularly if it is strenuous, tension can build up in the soft tissues. Over use and minor injuries can then cause lesions in these tissues which cause pain and reduce performance. But sports massage can really relieve that problem, reducing the pain and improving performance again. Another benefit from sports massage is helping to alleviate the problem of lack of flexibility within heavily exercised muscles. This occurs because the muscles lose their ability to relax, making them tight all the time.
The tightness leads to loss of flexibility which is then linked to soreness and can cause injuries such as pulling and tearing of the muscles during activity. Tight muscles also have reduced blood flow which is another cause of pain. All of this can be alleviated by having a regular sports massage routine to help these muscles.
Muscular strain is a very common injury among sports people and can have a serious impact on their performance. However sports massage has been proven to be a highly successful preventative technique, helping athletes to avoid the problem of severe muscle strains. Sports massage is also really good for helping to reduce stress levels among sports people which could otherwise impede their performance. A sports massage helps the body to release endorphins which help to decrease anxiety and improve mood.
Are there any other psychological benefits for clients?
- Reduction of pain – sports massage can ease tension in the body and encourage the release of waste products from the muscles which can otherwise cause pain. It also works by releasing endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers.
- Relaxation – sports massage helps the muscles to relax through stretching, circulation improvement and this leads to overall relaxation.
- Invigorating – sports massage before an activity can be very invigorating and stimulate better performance.
In order to get the full benefits of sports massage, it should be used regularly. The ideal would be to have a sports massage before and after any kind of sporting or athletic activity. Those who are training for meets or competition level should also have regular sessions throughout to maintain the benefits of the sports massage.
The aim of a pre-event sports massage is to warm up the muscles which are going to be used to help get them ready, and it also reduces stress to help get the sports person focussed and ready to perform better. While a post-event sports massage will be more focussed on helping the body to recover and it aims to prevent muscle spasms and reduce the build up of toxins which can occur in the body following vigorous physical activity.
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- Sports Therapy
- Tui Na, ( Chinese Massage and Manipulation)
- Traditional Acupuncture
- Specialised Body Acupuncture
- Auricular Acupuncture
- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
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