Sports massage helps your athletic self, perform at your peak.
It’s also your secret weapon that speeds healing when your body needs to mend. Sports massage rebuilds tissues, and works a dream for muscle recovery and joint range of motion…
But while we’re on the topic, let’s tackle some facts.
At some point an urban myth caught on, telling how lactic acid build-up in our muscles is the reason for post-exercise pain, and how massage helps expel this substance from our cells.
In truth what happens is, lactic acid - like a well-mannered guest - leaves all by itself about 60 minutes after your exercising stops.
And here’s what’s really taking place:
During intense or prolonged exercise, you place extra strain on your muscles and they develop tiny tears. This extra stress is also felt in surrounding joints and tissues. It’s less to do with lactic acid, and more about the ‘micro trauma’ of these tears which leaves your body tender, sore and feeling that “deep-burn”.
So having a ‘deep’ level massage while fresh in this state will only leave you hurting more. A lighter level massage is however exactly what you need – using techniques that help you heal.
Research shows that having the appropriate sports massage 0-3 days post-performance will decrease inflammation, and ease delayed onset muscle soreness by as much as 30%.
If a deeper massage IS what you’re after, wait about 4 days once these muscle tears have healed and all should be good to go.
The kind of sports massage techniques your therapist applies will always depend specifically on the nature of work your muscles, joints and fascia need in relation to your training and performance calendar.
What is Sports Massage?
Sports Massage can help athletes, beginners to pro’s, prepare for - or recover from - athletic sports activity. Sports Massage stretches, rejuvenates, repairs and conditions the muscle groups involved in the sport you play.
It uses the same techniques as those of Relaxation Massage – plus a few other sporty-specific ones for good measure. The goal of Sports Massage is to maximise the flexibility of muscles, joints and fascia; increase blood flow to these areas - and optimise range of motion.
As mentioned, your Sports Massage treatment will always correspond with where your training or performance schedule is currently at.
Preparation: If you’re busy preparing for an event, then your therapist will work to warm, stretch and enhance your muscles so you perform at your peak with least risk of injury.
Recovery: Directly after an event your muscles are all pumped up, and sometimes this hints at swelling caused by those muscle micro-tears we were talking about before. With recovery massage your therapist will focus on loosening your tired and stiff muscles, keeping you flexible and easing any cramps. Your massage will also stimulate blood circulation to help heal your tissues and send cellular waste packing.
Maintenance: This is a set weekly slot with your massage therapist which is simply part of your training program. Your regular maintenance massage keeps muscles aligned, joints smiling - and your mind and body in medal-winning condition.
The huge benefits of regular sports massage for athletes who are keen to maintain peak performance and health cannot be overstated.
If you struggle with any of these, Sports Massage can really help :
Remember: Drink lots of water after having a massage
After your massage it’s quite normal to experience a level of tenderness or stiffness in your muscles and joints. Make sure you drink plenty of water to flush your tissues of cellular waste that’s been freed up in response to your massage.
What the medical community has to say:
Sports massage has become regular, mainstream practice among individual athletes, sports teams, fitness professionals and gym enthusiasts. Extensive research across Europe and the United States verifies that when applied correctly, massage enhances recovery and athletic performance.