Typically, sports massage is utilized to alleviate and promote healing of specific complaints. Trained in Sports Massage, the Massage Therapist performs massage techniques based upon knowledge of anatomy, physiology and related massage therapy knowledge base's relevant to human sports performance. It would be hard to imagine a professional team or program anywhere that does not employ the services of a qualified sports massage therapist.
However, one does not need to have a serious physical complaint to greatly benefit from sports massage. To the contrary, it is now more common for athletes of all ages and level of play to seek the services of a trained sports massage therapist. There are typically five time periods when sports massage is appropriate:
- Post event
Specific sports are known to habitually affect particular muscles or groups of muscles, tendons and ligaments that are used excessively. By concentrating on the specific muscle groups most used in a given sport, a massage therapist can help an athlete increase mobility, range of motion, oxygen supply, blood flow and help maintain higher performance.
How is Sports Massage Different?
A trained Sports Massage differs from Relaxation Massage such as Swedish Massage because the client's relaxation is not the primary objective. Accordingly, the sports massage therapist may employ a number of massage modalities including Swedish Massage strokes, Trigger Point Therapy, Acupressure, Deep-Tissue Massage, Lymphatic Massage, Hydrotherapy and others.
What Does the Process Involve?
As in most massage therapy you will fill out a medical history form complete with disclosure of any conditions or complications that have arisen as a result of sporting activities or other causes. Together, you and your therapist will discuss your sports activity agenda and what you wish to get out of your massage therapy. An effective treatment plan will be devised that deals effectively with your condition. The frequency of your visits will vary according to your needs. Your therapist may also recommend specific exercises to be performed at home.
Sports Massage Therapy
Sport massage is applied through pre-event, post-event, and restoration/training massage that is used primarily on-site at an event or at the host or team health care clinic. Local teams, clubs and individual athletes can benefit from sport massage therapy from grassroots to the elite level.
- PREVENTS muscle and tendon injuries.
- REDUCES the strain and discomfort of training and chronic strain patterns. allowing a quicker return to maximum training levels.
- ENABLES the athlete to recover more quickly from myofascial injury with less chance of chronic problems returning.
- PROVIDES psychological boosts to the athlete, consistent with his or her commitment to high performance.
- ENHANCES a preventive approach to athletic training whereby soft tissues are free of trigger points and adhesions, thus contributing toward the improvement of peak neuromuscular functioning.
- PRE-EVENT massage stimulates circulation, calms nervous tension, and prepares the athlete for optimal performance while reducing the chances of injury.
- POST-EVENT massage helps in recovery from hard training and competition.
- TRAINING massage focuses on the prevention of developing chronic injuries and aids in the healing process of current ones.