Sports massage can assist any sportsperson, injured or not. This type of massage was originally developed to serve athletes to prevent and relieve injuries, but both athletes and non-athletes can gain physiological and psychological benefits from receiving sports massage.
It can help maintain the body in a good condition, prevent injuries and loss of mobility, cure and restore mobility to injured muscle tissue, boost performance and extend the overall life of your sporting career.
Pumping - The stroking movements in massage encourage fluid movement through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
Increased tissue permeability - Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
Stretching - Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Massage can stretch the fascia within the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
Break down scar tissue - Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
Improve tissue elasticity - Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
Opens micro-circulation - Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
Anxiety reduction – The rhythmic effect of massage together with endorphin release induces relaxation and so reduces anxiety levels.
Invigorating - if massage is done with brisk movements such as what would be done before an event then this can produces an invigorating feeling.
Stress and Pain Reduction
Sports massage therapy can help a person manage stress. When a person receives a sports massage, their body releases neurotransmitters called endorphins. Endorphins are released by two centres of the brain known as the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, and they act as the body's natural pain reliever. Endorphins that are released due to receiving a sports massage help to decrease anxiety, provide pain relief, improve mood and enhance a person's state of well-being.
For anyone participating in regular physical activity, Sports massage therapy every week or two may be a great addition to your normal regimen. It's best to talk with one of our professional massage therapists to find a plan that will work best with your schedule, level of activity and budget.