if you push your limits, then sports massage should be on your list to investigate. Anyone who routinely pushes their physical limits - whether through running, dancing, strength training or any of a host of other physical activities - will benefit from a sports massage.
Adding sports massage to your conditioning program allows you to get into shape faster, and with less stiffness and soreness. It also helps you recover faster from heavy workouts, and reduces the chance of injury.
Sports massage can play an important part in the life of any active person, whether they are injured or not. Sports massage has a number of benefits, physical, physiological and psychological:
- Maintains the body generally in better condition.
Helps prevent injuries and loss of mobility by loosening connective tissues and muscles.
Cure and restore mobility to injured muscles.
- Boost athletic performance.
Extend the length of a sporting career.
- Improve the range of motion and muscle flexibility.
- Shorten recovery time between workouts.
- Increase the supply of nutrients and oxygen through improved circulation.
Enhance the elimination of toxic by-products of exercise.
How does it do this? There are various physical effects:
- Pumping - The stroking movements suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. This is particularly important for tight or damaged muscles.
- Increased tissue permeability - Pores in tissue open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourages the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients, which speeds recovery.
- Stretching - By stretching tissues that can not be stretched using other methods, tension or pressure can be released.
- Break down scar tissue - Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues prone to injury.
- Improve tissue elasticity - Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic - it can help reverse this by stretching the tissues.
- Opens micro-circulation - By opening or dilating the blood vessels and by stretching them, nutrients can pass through more easily.