Sports massage is a type of systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body that focuses on different muscle groups. There are many physical and psychological benefits of sports massage. The different movements and techniques used help an athlete’s body achieve its maximum performance potential, decrease recovery times, chances of injury and can reduce pain.
Here is how it works. Sports and exercise repeatedly exhaust your muscles, which can create imbalance in your soft tissues. Sports massage addresses the resulting tension increasing blood flow that can helps prevent injury in tired and overused muscles. A sports massage regimen can also delay muscle soreness after rigorous exercise preventing stiffness and pain.
There are also psychological benefits. Massage helps release endorphins that are particularly good for relaxation. The stimulation of touch, pressure and warmth also promote relaxation and reduced anxiety. Typically massage is done directly before activity to invigorate and prepare muscles or directly afterwards to aid in stimulating lactic acid build-up.
Although sports massage is geared towards athletes, it is often a very practical choice for a balanced training regimen for anyone participating in regular physical activity. Talk about your needs with a professional massage therapist to find a plan that works best with your body and activity schedule.