Sports Massage is the application of massage treatment therapy and neuromuscular techniques to improve athletic performance and to promote and preserve the optimal health of the athlete. It involves a series of individualized soft tissue treatments to help each athlete achieve his or her personal performance goals by relieving muscle pain and stiffness which can speed up recovery after training sessions or competitions, and increases energy and stamina.
Training regimes are aimed at enhancing skill, strength, endurance and/or speed of the athlete.This can subject their bodies to additional stress and controlled overuse.
Such stresses and overuse can often lead to muscular imbalances, which may impede performance and cause discomfort. If ignored, these problems can become chronic and lead to more serious injuries which ultimately may prevent an individual from training or competing at all.
A sports massage can be a very effective technique for releasing tension and restoring balance to the musculo-skeletal system and has invaluable benefits to athletes In helping muscles recover quickly allowing the athlete to perform sooner with less recovery time. Regular treatments with your sports masseuse can also prevent injuries as the therapist will become familiar with the lay and feel of the athletes muscles. Any tears or differences will be felt by the therapist before the athlete even suspects that there is a problem.
Benefits of Sports Massage
- Relieves acute and chronic muscle pain
- Speeds recovery from training sessions
- Increases mental focus and clarity
- Restores range of motion and flexibility
- Increases energy and stamina
- Strengthens resistance to injury
- Enhances athletic performance
How is Sports Massage Used?
Before and after training sessions and competitions sports massage is beneficial. For optimal health and peak performance, a regime of weekly or biweekly sessions lasting 40-60 minutes is suggested for the active athlete.
Sports massage is used pre-event (enhancing muscle performance) or post-event ( to aid recovery).
Pre-event sports massage is given 12 hours to 4 hours preceding an event to improve performance and help prevent injuries. It is used as a supplement to an athlete’s warm-up to enhance circulation and reduce excess muscle tension prior to competition. It is normally a shorter treatment (10-20 minutes) than a regular conditioning massage, and focuses on warming-up the major muscles to be used, and getting the athlete in a good mental state for competition. It also improves tissue pliability, readying the athlete for top performance.
Post-event sports massage is given after a competition and is mainly concerned with recovery. It is geared toward reducing muscle spasms and metabolic build-up that occur with vigorous exercise. Recovery after competition involves not only tissue normalization and repair, but also general relaxation and mental calming. A recovery session might be 15 minutes to 60 minutes in length.