Sports massage has a wide variety of benefits in treating common muscular ailments.
It can be used to relax the body’s muscles in general, or treat problem areas specifically.
Massage can often be the best way to reduce muscular tension directly.
- relieves muscular tension
- improves flexibility and range of motion
- reduces swelling and pain from exercise and injury
- promotes muscle relaxation
- helps cleanse muscles and promote healing
- increases lymph and blood circulation for immune boost
- mentally relaxing
- reduces tension and anxiety
- encourages calm through the neuromuscular system, so don't be surprised if your tummy gurgles! (ask me why if you don't know why…)
For those of a competitive nature...
For the competitive amongst you, regular massage can be used throughout your training cycles;
- off-season for better rest and recuperation from “wear and tear” injuries
- pre-season to ease the buildup in training intensity to maximise efficiency
- in-season to maintain competitive levels and skills
Frequency for massage depends on training volume and intensity, (pampered Premiership footballers receive massage daily…alright for some!)
For the rest of us, every 2-4 weeks is a good starting point, at least check in each quarter year.
The frequency should relate to “how much trouble can you get into?” in between massage sessions. If training is leaving you uncomfortably sore, tired or with niggling injuries, the gap is getting too large for your training and competing.
It’s important to note that therapists and research suggest that a massage here and there is nice, but won’t give you the same benefits as a regular massage program. Just as going for a light jog now and again is not going to prepare you for a full marathon. So, like exercise itself, the benefits of massage are cumulative, meaning the more regularly you receive a massage, the more you’ll reap their advantages.
It's NOT just for sporty people
Sports massage is not just for “the sporty” (I promise, no fitness testing here!)
Think of yourself as an “urban athlete”,“occupational athlete” or “domestic athlete” if your day requires;
- repetitious movements for long durations such as driving or commuting
- desk-bound computer-tapping or mouse moving
- child rearing and maintaining a household with all the chores, then you can/should consider yourself an athlete in need of sports massage.
Drink more water to get the best from your treatment
And don’t forget the water! No matter the type of massage or when you receive it, aim to drink an extra litre of water for that day, to maximise the effects and benefits of the massage.