Sports massage is used to mobilise soft tissue structures including muscles and tendons. It was aims to treat dysfunction of muscles and tendons and if used correctly can even prevent injuries. Many athletes find that receiving regular sports massages, e.g. once per week, aids their recovery from training and allows them to train harder. They also find that they experience fewer injuries and generally perform better.
You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of sports massage – don’t underestimate the strain placed on your body by everyday life, e.g. spending long periods in front of a computer.
Three main techniques are used during sports massage:
- Effleurage – a light stroking massage that increases blood flow to the muscle
- Petrisage – a deeper, kneading-type massage which loosens tight muscles
- Friction – deep circular or transverse motions that decrease muscle spasm and tension and assist in the breakdown of muscle spasm.
Benefits of sports massage include:
- Improved circulation – More oxygen is delivered to the muscles and waste products are removed.
- Improved lymphatic drainage – Assists in the reduction of swelling and removal of waste products
- Remodeling of scar tissue
- Decreased anxiety and stress
- Increased body-awareness which can help you to identify injuries earlier