Sports massage uses a variety of pressure (often deeper, more intense and focused than in conventional massage) to speed up an athlete's recovery time and help prevent injury.
Many athletes believe that a complete training programme should include not just the exercise itself, but also regular massage.
Because each sport uses the muscle groups in different ways, a qualified sports massage therapist will have a sound knowledge of the muscular and skeletal systems, and tailor the treatment for each individual athlete. Sports massage is often supplemented by other massage therapy styles, including Swedish massage, deep tissue, trigger point (myotherapy), acupressure, compression, cross-fibre and lymphatic massage.
What is sports massage good for? A sports massage has many benefits for an athlete, or anyone doing regular exercise. It can:
- relax your muscles
- fight fatigue
- relieve any swelling you have around your joints
- boost circulation and the immune system so that the body heals more quickly
- improve your flexibility and body strength
- reduce your heart rate and blood pressure
- increase your circulation and lymph flow
- make it easier for you to recover more quickly after you've done strenuous exercise
- make it less likely you'll get more injuries by getting rid of the tension in the muscles