What Is Sport Massage?
The main focus of Sport Massage is to eliminate pain and dysfunction within specific muscle groups around the clients’ skeletal body, and to enhance performance. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. Above all, it can help prevent those niggling injuries that so often get in the way of performance and achievement, whether one is an athlete, ardent keep-fitter or a once a casual jogger. Sport massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open up, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to recover quicker.
Here at Essential Therapy we use sport massage, assisted stretching and other soft tissue modalities; to assist clients to recover from sport and work related activity. None or our treatments are intended to be painful. The old adage “no pain, no gain” is an ancient myth. Depending on the required outcome sport massage can be divided into four main categories:
- Immediately before physical activity (Pre-Event)
- Between activities i.e. triathlon or tournament (Inter-Event)
- Immediately after activity (Post-Event)
- Injury prevention (Therapeutic)
A sports massage is more invigorating than for instance, Swedish massage. The goal of Sport Massage is to prepare, treat, and maintain the athlete. The three main objectives of treatment are:
- Calm the mind
- Improve flexibility
- Improve the Circulation
- Reduce Muscle adhesions
Pre-event sport massage is performed anytime from a half hour to two hours before the event. Quick, energetic techniques are used to enhance an athlete's warm-up. Massage will increase muscle stimulation, circulation, flexibility, and range of motion. This reduces muscle pain, soreness, and mental tension and prepares the athlete for their performance. Deep tissue massage has both strong physiological and psychological benefits. Massage can improve the immune system by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, as well as improving the perceived fatigue level of the athlete. Thereby allowing the athlete to feel recovered more quickly.
Inter Event & Post-Event
Inter and post event sport massage techniques used are a more calming procedure to aid muscles in returning to their natural state. This can also calm the athlete down from the adrenaline of performing. Circulation is increased to aid in elimination of toxins to prevent muscle soreness, fatigue, and spasms. 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 1 1/2 hours in length.
Myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy, trigger-point therapy, assisted stretching all help keep an athlete in prime shape. These techniques are used to promote injury prevention, reduce scar tissue and screen for any potential injury risks.