Massage for sports is massage that involves the manipulation of soft tissues for the benefit of a person engaged in regular physical activity. This could be to treat pain, improve the effects of blood flow on your body or deep muscular work performed to improve flexibility and other performance benefits. So whilst most people think of sports massage as a massage for sports injuries, this isn’t always the case.
What are soft tissues?
Soft tissues are connective tissues that have not hardened in bones and cartilage; they include skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia (a form of connective tissue that covers and envelops other soft tissues).
Sports massage are techniques designed to help correct problems and imbalances in soft tissues from repetitive and intense physical activity and trauma.
Using sports massages, before and after exercise, can improve your performance, help recovery and prevent injuries.
History of massage for sports persons
Massage is registered as one of the first forms of physiotherapy and was used more than 3000 years ago in China, India and Greece. Its popular use in the Western world is largely due to the work of Per Henrik Ling (1776 – 1839), who developed the form of massage now known as Swedish massage.
Ling developed its own style of massage and exercise to help fencers and gymnasts, gaining international recognition in the process.
Many of his ideas formed the basis of modern sports massage. Today, there are many forms of massage available to help us maintain our health and well-being.
Sports massage has been accepted in the United States, Canada and Australia for many years, while in the United Kingdom the practice of easing away muscle tightness with massage for sports performance became known and more widely used only in the 1990s.
What is sports therapy?
Sport therapy involves a higher level of training that includes a broader set of supportive skills and knowledge. There is general agreement in the UK on some key areas that are essential for sports therapy, although the emphasis varies from one training provider to another, some favour soft tissue therapy and others focus on rehabilitation or emergency care.
It is widely accepted that sports therapy includes: Anatomy and Physiology Sports Massage. This is why your therapist at Essential Feeling is qualified in A&P.
The general area in which a sports therapist will work is to help individuals and teams move from the ability to perform normal daily physical functions to highly qualified sports activities.
Beginning in the mid-1990s they made a collective effort to make sport therapy a “regulated” profession with a protected title through the Health Professions Council (HPC). The term “protected title” would mean that only those who have proven that they meet the required standards can exercise under the chosen title; here, sports therapy.
All those interested in this area agreed that the minimum level of education to be practised in this area would be university level. More recently, however, HPC has limited applications to occupations that pose a risk to the general public. Sport therapy has been considered safe and will therefore not be presented to HPC unless there is a policy change in the future. This is not foreseeable at this time.
Are massages good for athletes?
If you are an athlete or an exercise enthusiast, receiving regular massages could transform the way you engage in your activity. Massage can help you do more than you want by increasing the range of motion and flexibility, reducing inflammation, reducing pain, relaxing the body and preventing injuries.
What are the benefits of sports massage?
Advantages of therapeutic sports massage Increased amplitude of movement, which leads to better performance. Decreased muscle stiffness and pain after exercise or physical activity. Reduced recovery time after injury Increased relaxation levels and reduced physical and psychological stress
How do you prepare for a sports massage?
How to prepare for a deep tissue massage
Do research to find a good massage therapist with experience and great qualifications.
Preparing relevant health information for the therapist via the online consultation form you’ll be sent once you’ve booked.
Drink a little water.
Take a hot or warm shower before the massage to loosen the muscles and help you put yourself in a relaxed state.
Wear loose and comfortable clothes for the massage appointment — this will help you stay relaxed when you leave.
Do sports massages hurt?
A massage for sports isn’t gentle. And so you are likely to feel some discomfort , during and after a massage. This is completely normal and, in general, means that it works. But a sports massage should never cause you as much pain as you feel the need to tire yourself to endure it. If your muscles are tense, they will not benefit much from the massage.
Sports massage is not only for athletes?
Sports massage techniques are suitable for athletes as well as non-athletes and can help relieve injuries, chronic pain, muscle pain and limited freedom of movement in all of us.
Will massage for sports get rid of knots?
Muscles can produce lactic acid in large quantities, which can solidify to form nodes. Techniques used in sports massage help to drain lactic acid and other waste from the body. This, in turn, helps to relieve the nodes and accelerate the recovery of muscles.
Can you run after a sports massage?
In general, it is usually normal to do some light exercise, such as walking or jogging, after receiving a massage. If you’re not sure, ask your therapist at Essential Feeling, Romford. They will be happy to provide some advice on post-treatment after massage
Is this a full sports massage of the body?
Unlike a full body massage, the therapist is likely to focus on specific areas of the body once an evaluation has been performed before treatment.
Is a deep tissue massage the same as a sports massage?
Sports massage is appointed for sports-specific injuries.
The difference between this and deep tissue massage is that this modality focuses more specifically on chronic muscle tension and stress reduction.
What is the best massage for muscle knots?
Deep tissue massage protocol: The best massage technique to relieve stress and muscle tension is deep tissue massage by qualified and experienced therapists. This friction can loosen the painful “knots”, release lactic acid in muscles and realign the deep layers of the tissues improving the feeling of strain and fatigue. This is thanks to a combination of firm pressure and slow blows. Your therapist will work not only on the usual muscles, but also on the connective tissue.
Is the massage good after the gym?
Benefits of a post-workout massage Getting a massage once you have finished training helps reduce muscle soreness by reducing inflammation and improving recovery time by accelerating cell regeneration. Studies show that the key to keep in mind is that massage intervention should be done as soon as possible after exercise.
What massage techniques do you use during a massage for sports?
It depends on what we’re trying to do, we could be helping you heal from injury, recover faster post workout, or improve flexibility. Each requires a different approach from your massage therapist which is why it’s important to choose a well qualified and experienced one.
You could expect some level of kneading, petrissage, effleurage treatments along with active strokes over a controlled period. We’ll also likely include some trigger point work which consists of sustained manual pressure on one area of a clients body. When this point releases, the domino effect will ease other problem areas.
To some degree, due to the unique nature of body mechanics, your session will always have a degree of being experimental, in that your therapist will adapt their skill to give you a dynamic treatment based on how they feel your body reacting to the treatment when you are on the table.
We’ll not only adjust the techniques but also the pressure and intensity under our hand.
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