Sports Massage

14.Nov.11 | Legacy

Massage isn’t a luxury and can, in fact, enhance your ability to perform and recover from strenuous activity and sport.

1. Injury Prevention – As athletes increase their training loads, massage is used to assist the body to cope with the physiological changes and demands. Massage allows you to maintain and monitor healthy tissues and continue to train and compete at your best. The continuity of a regular therapist means that problematic areas can be picked up quickly so they don’t turn into long lasting injuries. Prevention is all about being proactive, so consider other forms of intervention such as nutrition, cold water immersion, stretching and strength work.

2. Recovery – Between 30mins and 72hrs is usually when most athletes will get their recovery massage. A recovery massage is generally a very light ‘flush’. After a big race an accumulation of tension and waste products resulting from micro tears in the tissues can cause discomfort and sometimes pain, this is called delayed onset muscle soreness. A light flush increases circulation encouraging more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles to speed up the recovery process and alleviate pain. Most athletes will comment that a recovery massage takes the ‘heaviness’ out of their legs.

3. Performance Enhancing – Imagine waking up every day and training at your best. Many professional athletes are backing up day after day and a lot of them put it down to the consistency of treatment. Treatment identifies areas of significance, such as hip flexors, which can be often overloaded with heavy training demands. Massage is used to stretch the sheath and fascia that surrounds and binds the muscles, releasing any tension or pressure built up. The muscles and surrounding tissues are restored to their ‘normal’ length to produce optimum power output.

4. Psychological Boost – Wouldn’t it be great to stand on the start line and know that you have done everything you could to perform at your best? Many athletes take great comfort in knowing they have a weekly or fortnightly massage booked into their training schedule. Massage gives you instant feedback on how your body is coping with the training demands; this allows you to get in tune with your body. A Sports Massage, although painful at times, can help induce relaxation, releasing endorphins which can reduce anxiety levels. The tiny receptors responsible for the relaxation reflex are called ‘mechanoreceptors’, these receptors sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth.