Today sportsmen and women push themselves to the extreme limits of their physical capabilities and place massive amounts of strain on their bodies, at a professional level as well as the normal public like you who attend boot camp and work your ass off in the gym. These strains and stresses result in muscular and connective tissue problems, of varying severity, which can be alleviated through massage.
Sports massage is usually briefer in duration and more vigorous than a general full-body massage focusing as it does on the particular muscles relevant to your athletics activity.
Receiving a massage prior to athletic activity will loosen your muscles. Massage used in combination with stretching can help ensure that your muscles will be warmed up and ready for intense activity. Post event massage can help to relieve your pain, prevent any stiffness and return your muscles to their normal state more rapidly.
Sports massage can be just as important in preventing injury as warming up and cooling down, it’s also a lot more enjoyable!!
There are many benefits of a sports massage program, so have a read of these and see what you think:
- reduced muscle tension and resulting pain
- aiding recovery from training by reducing delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS) and removing waste products
- improved flexibility through stretching, breaking down scar tissue and promoting circulation of blood and lymph, providing your muscles and soft tissues with optimum amount of nutrition
- improving posture
- reducing anxiety
- promote overall muscle balance
- enable you to recover more rapidly from injury
- reduce the likelihood of further injury by increasing flexibility to tight muscles or tendons that might otherwise tend to tear or pull
- help you to avoid developing chronic problems
- help you to maintain a more consistent higher level of training and performance
- effectively reduce adhesions and some degree of scar tissue formation in your soft tissues, allowing for restoration of your muscle integrity and full range of motion
- provide and invaluable psychological boost
- Enhance your awareness of your body, helping you to find the full range of expression and strength for each movement you make.
Just two quick examples when a degree of caution should be taken before a massage:
Recently injured areas
The site of an injury will be swollen, bruised and painful to the touch. There may also be a reduction in function of the muscle or joint. Massage will act to disturb the process of healing and may make the condition worse through increasing blood flow and thus swelling.
Massage is not advised for a pregnant woman who is experiencing nausea and vomiting, as it may make their symptoms worse. Massage of the back and abdomen must be avoided during the first sixteen weeks as the friction could promote miscarriage. However, in the later stages of pregnancy massage of the lower limbs may be beneficial in promoting venous return.
So hopefully this article has proved helpful and opened your eyes a bit more to the many benefits of massage. Indeed it does help to relax you and make you feel good but it is also vital in maintaining performance and will help you stick to your fitness goals, whilst reducing the chances of injury.