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As its name would suggest, sports massage therapy is geared towards the treatment of sporting injuries or ailments. But don’t get it twisted (sorry); you don’t have to be an elite athlete, or even injured, to reap the many rewards of effective Sports massage therapy.
Whether you’re a world-class professional athlete or a casual netball player, regular sports massage treatments are one of the key components that make up a balanced and effective exercise and training program, and there really is enough variety to offer something for everyone.
It’s important to reiterate that you certainly don’t need to be injured to benefit from sports massage therapy. It can be carried out before, during or after playing physical activity, and in fact, the treatment can be equally as preventative as it is curative. Regular sessions can help to stave off injuries, promote flexibility, improve stamina, and prepare your body and mind for optimum performance.
As for existing injuries or ailments, sports massage has been proven to assist in relieving pain, treating all sorts of injuries, reducing muscle tension, reducing swelling and improving heart rate, blood pressure and circulation.
Did we mention the positive psychological effects? Sometimes just knowing you’re doing something good for your body can relieve stress and anxiety. But if you want to get sciency, studies do show that massage encourages the release of endorphins, a type of chemical or neurotransmitter which helps to both reduce your perception of pain, and promote feelings of positivity and wellbeing. Can’t argue with that.
Sports-related injuries, more often than not, occur as a result of the overuse of a particular part of the body, and sports massage therapy is a great option for targeted, immediate relief.
Whether you’re suffering from tennis elbow, shin splints, upper back or neck pain or muscle tension, an individually tailored treatment program, designed by a fully trained sports massage therapist could be seriously beneficial for you.
When heading in for your sports massage treatment, do be aware that the aim of the game here isn’t necessarily relaxation. Instead, sports massage is all about getting down to the nitty gritty.
Your sports massage therapist isn’t there to serenade you with oceans sounds, or swathe you in fluffy robes. Instead, their targeted, and sometimes vigorous techniques will help to soften scar tissue and literally break down any muscle knots which may be causing you pain, swelling or a limited range of motion.
After an in-depth consultation with your therapist, where you’ll be able to voice your individual concerns, they will begin by applying light pressure to warm up the muscles. They will then move on to more specific, targeted techniques.
Sports massage is based primarily on Swedish massage, which involves long, gliding strokes, kneading, cupping and friction. Your therapist may also incorporate techniques such as deep tissue massage, or more gentle remedial massage. They’ll be sure to work slowly, within your tolerance to sort out any issues without causing unnecessary pain or damage.
So, if you’re participating in regular physical activity of any capacity, sports massage therapy can be a hugely beneficial addition to your existing routine. With regular sessions, you’ll notice improved performance in both body and mind, improved stamina and flexibility, and relief from existing injuries.
Not quite sure where to begin? Don’t worry - Bookwell is here to help you find the best sports massage therapist to suit your needs.