What is Sports Recovery Massage?
Sports massage is a form of massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue to benefit a person engaged in regular physical activity. Soft tissue is connective tissue that has not hardened into bone and cartilage; it includes skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia (a form of connective tissue that lines and ensheathes the other soft tissues). Sports massage is designed to assist in correcting problems and imbalances in soft tissue that are caused from repetitive and strenuous physical activity and trauma. The application of sports massage, prior to and after exercise, may enhance performance, aid recovery and prevent injury.
Massage is recorded as one of the earliest forms of physical therapy and was used over 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 his own style of massage and exercise to help fencers and gymnasts, gaining international recognition in the process. Many of his ideas have formed the foundations of modern sports massage. Today, there are many forms of massage available to assist us in maintaining our health and wellbeing. Sports massage has been accepted in America, Canada and Australia for many years now, while in the UK, the practice only became known and more widely
What are the benefits?
The following benefits can be experienced through the application of sports and deep tissue massage techniques:
These benefits are largely the result of an increase in local blood circulation which helps to flush out chemical irritants and waste products which have stored up within the muscle. At the same time, fresh blood flow increases oxygen and nutrient content within the muscle. This in turn can help with muscle repair and leads to a reduction in muscle tension.
Reduction in muscle tension, muscular pain and discomfort
Increased range of motion, leading to enhanced performance.
Decreased muscle stiffness and soreness after exercise or physical activity
Reduced recovery time post injury
Increased levels of relaxation and reduction in physical and psychological stress levels
Aids sleep quantity and quality.