Sports Massage Therapy
Sports massage therapy uses similar methods of manipulating the skin, yet tends to be more focussed on sports related areas of pain. Sports massage is dedicated to improving sports performance, boosting flexibility and mobility and handling/alleviating/preventing potential injuries.
Why and when do I need a sports massage treatment as an athlete?
- Preparation massage
- Massage to eliminate training fatigue
- Pre-competition massage
- Massage between performances
This massage is used as a physical recovery support in ongoing training preparation. treatments will usually cover the entire body or specific areas, depending on the training protocol. The aim of this type of treatment is generally to establish optimal muscle tone and facilitate proper biomechanics and range of motion as related to the specific sport.
(Note: For this type of treatment, it is generally preferable to have a Massage Therapist that is familiar with the different training periods/phases and or training requirements/goals, specific to each sport/activity.
Sports Massage to eliminate fatigue
The aim of this massage is to eliminate fatigue and post exercise soreness. Sports massage generally focusses on accelerated blood and lymphatic return, reducing excessive nerve firing, and encouraging an overall state of relaxation within the body.
Sports massage thus also addresses the mental fatigue that is often due to strenuous and demanding training routines. Mental fatigue may be present for a period of time following training, may have a negative and depressive impact on the athlete, and may also lead to physical strains. Negative mental states may also affect the ability to physically relax, which may also impair the athlete’s recovery, and lead to sleep deprivation.
Sports Massage used as a Pre-Competition Tool
Pre-Competitor massage has a great influence on both the physical and psychological state of the athlete, prior to competition. It is indeed helpful to work with a Massage Therapist that is familiar with the various pre-competitive states on the athlete. That said, since the massage will influence the mental state of the athlete in competition, it is again helpful to work with a massage therapist familiar with athletes.
The massage can be done in a stimulating fashion, which may be beneficial for the athlete that has difficulty during warm-up, to assist in increasing blood flow to the muscles as well as tone. Pre-Competiton massage done with vigorous techniques and strokes, will also promote the systemic distribution or stimulating hormones, such as adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine, needed for peak sports performance.
The effect of this massage is a two-fold. It has a mechanical effect on muscle tones well as a stimulating effect on the CNS
(Central Nervous System), which may result in elevated alertness and focus during performance.
Pre-Competitor massage can also have a calming effect, reducing stress and nervousness. This type of massage is done utilizing slower, calming strokes, with aim to reduce the excessive muscular tension, and lower stimulating nerve impulses (sympathetic nerve firing).
Sports Massage is useful between performances
Between sport performances, the aim of sports massage is manly to eliminate fatigue and help prepare the athlete both physically and mentally for the imminent sport performance. this type of massage is generally beneficial in transforming a negative energy or soreness and fatigue, into a more positive state or focus and concentration, crucial for peak performance.