What is Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a form of deep tissue massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue to relieve pain and tightness, and increase mobility. Soft tissue includes muscles, skin, tendons, ligaments and fascia. Sports massage aims to correct any imbalances or restrictions that can be caused by repetitive physical activity. This does have to be exercise, it can simply be the repetitive action of typing at a computer all day, or lifting heaving materials at work. The use of sports massage before or after exercise can also improve performance, prevent injuries and speed up recovery.
10 Benefits of Sports Massage
[if !supportLists]1. [endif]Relaxation
Sports massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of how your body works. It controls things such as your heart rate, blood pressure etc.) Relaxation has a lot more benefits than it does drawbacks!
2. Stress Relief
The body doesn’t work properly when it’s stressed. This could include being physically fatigued, or mentally stressed after a busy working week. Sports massage reduces the amount of stress-related hormones in your body, which can prevent injury, aid recovery and even boost your immune system - stopping you getting some illnesses!
3. Improved Circulation
When your muscles relax and are not as tense, your blood supply increases. This allows nutrients to be delivered to your muscles and unwanted products such as lactic acid are flushed out. Again this improves recovery and reduces likelihood of injury.
4. Reduced Blood Pressure
Reduced stress, reduced muscular tension and an increased blood flow all mean the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to get blood around your body.
5. Decrease in Muscle Soreness
When you exercise or perform any kind of physical activity, your muscles suffer micro tears in the fibres. This isn’t a bad thing but produces inflammation deep in your tissue to rebuild the tears during recovery. This produces the achey feeling you might feel for a day or two after exercise (known as DOMS - Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness). Waste products like lactic acid are flushed out by sports massage and blood flow is improved, so the repair of your muscles speeds up!
6. Increase Lymph System Activity
The lymph system helps our bodies drain out inflammation. If we didn’t have lymph nodes in our body, we’d swell up like the Michellin Man! They essentially drain out any liquid, filter out the rubbish and flush the good stuff back to our blood to be used again. Massage helps lymphatic drainage, which is why you might feel thirsty after you’ve had one! Drinking water after your massage will help this.
7. Feel Good Feeling!
Sports massage released endorphins. These are chemicals in our bodies that make us feel good. They also reduce pain.
8. Reduced Time Injured
Sports massage allows injured tissues such as muscles, tendons and ligaments to heal quicker and in the right way. It helps manage scar tissue and increases flexibility so that you don’t lose mobility while you’re injured.
9. Increased Mobility
The movement of your joints is increased with sports massage; by stretching and lengthening the muscles around them. The amount of synovial fluid inside the joints increases, to allow more movement between bones. Similar to topping up the oil in your car - to help everything move more freely!
10. Improves Performance
Sports massages boosts performance. Muscles that are conditioned well, help you run faster, jump higher, pick up heavier things and hit things harder! Whatever your chosen sport, massage will probably improve your performance!