Sports Massage 60 min. $65
This massage helps maintains the body in generally better condition; prevent injury and loss of mobility. Sports Massage may also boost performance. Massage is excellent for reducing back pain and general relaxation and may extend the overall life of your sporting pursuits.
Why is sports massage important?
- Helps maintain the body in generally better condition.
- Helps prevent injury and loss of mobility.
- Aids in restoring mobility to injured muscle tissue.
- May boost performance. Some have claimed massage could be as effective as taking anabolic steroids!
- Excellent for reducing back pain and general relaxation.
- May extend the overall life of your sporting career.
Sports massage should play an important part in the life of any sportsman or woman whether they are injured or not. Massage has a number of benefits; physical, physiological and psychological.
Physical effects of massage are:
Pumping: The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
Increased tissue permeability: Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
Stretching: Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibers are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
Break down scar tissue: Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can affect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
Improve tissue elasticity: Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
Opens micro-circulation: Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
Physiological effects of sports massage are:
Pain reduction: Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the bodies endorphins.
Relaxation: Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching. Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.
Psychological effects of massage are:
Anxiety reduction: Through the effects mentioned above relaxation is induced and so reduces anxiety levels.
Invigorating: if massage is done with brisk movements such as what would be done before an event then this can produces an invigorating feeling.
How is sports massage different from other types of therapeutic massage?
The basic techniques in sports massage can be the same as the basic techniques in any other forms of therapeutic massage. In sports massage the therapist may apply the techniques more firmly and deeper than a general massage therapist might. The sports massage therapist may also make more use for friction techniques which involves applying deep pressure to tissues repeatedly to break down adhesions (sticky bits on tendons) and soften scar tissue. Some sports massage techniques are designed to reduce an injury back to its acute stage in order to trigger the body’s natural healing response.
Does sports massage therapy hurt?
Some forms of massage are very superficial. The term ‘skin polisher’ has been known to be used. A superficial massage can be very relaxing, particularly when applied with aromatherapy oils. A sports massage needs to be applied deeper to manipulate muscle tissue more effectively. This can induce a deeper relaxation although at the time some techniques (not all) may border on the uncomfortable. However, the important point is massage should not be so painful that it causes the patient to tighten up or tense with pain. Some techniques need to be applied deeply (requiring a therapist with strong thumbs) but not so deep that the muscles tense up. This is pointless and of little benefit as the therapist is working against the body not with the body.
How do I know sports massage is safe?
Before having a massage (or giving a massage) your therapist should check to see if the client has any contraindications. A contraindication is simply something that the means you should not be given a massage or it could be seriously harmful. Contraindications include:
- Open wounds
- Muscle ruptures
- Tendon ruptures
- Burns, Chilblains and Broken bones
- Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gout
- Infections of the skin and soft tissue
- Artificial blood vessels
- Bleeding disorders such as hemophilia
- Absolutely anything else you are not sure of!