Massage over the years has developed in many directions and taken many forms. Sports massage is one specialization that holds a unique position as it has a fundamentally different approach from all other therapies. Conventional treatments aim to restore the body to normal function once we feel pain or have sustained an injury. But within sport normal function is not accepted, in terms of strength, speed and movement. Athletes are looking to reach levels of performance beyond normal function, in some cases beyond that which they will ever achieve. Therefore sports massage becomes important to an athlete as it aims to enhance performance and more importantly, prevent injuries.
It is these injury prevention techniques, along with a number of other physical, physiological and psychological benefits which make sports massage an ideal treatment for anyone. We should remember that our muscles are made for movement and modern life often means that they can remain static for long periods. Restoring movement and functionality in stiff and aching muscles, by removing waste products, such as lactic acids and through increasing blood flow, will reduce pain in areas of tension and therefore muscles will recover quicker. By encouraging the body to recover quicker, sports massage can even reduce anxiety levels, another common feature of modern life, and aid relaxation and produce an invigorating feeling.
Sports massage therapy is an integral part of an athlete’s training and is now often included in modern sports training regimes. It is appropriate to all sports people, no matter what level they have achieved, but it can help anyone reach optimal performance, even if there only high performance event is the occupation or desk job you choose to do.