The effects of sports massage

As the summer is approaching no doubt more and more of you will be inclined to start some kind of exercise regime. Perhaps some of you are preparing for your beach summer holiday; or are motivated to improve your fitness levels to feel healthy and energised over the summer months; or perhaps you just want to get the maximum benefit from this gorgeous weather by exercising outside in the sunshine.

 

Others, no doubt, are in full flow with your training programmes psyching yourselves up for the big event – the Brighton Marathon 15th April (or perhaps  London? or Paris? ), not too long to go for you now folks!

 

Whether a beginner, a serious exercise enthusiast or an elite athlete, without a doubt the benefits of sports massage can be reaped by all.

 

What are the benefits of sports massage?

Generally, the main benefits experienced from sports massage fall into two categories: (i) injury prevention (ii) enhanced performance

 

Identifying problem areas – breakdown of scar tissue:

All sports contain a repetitive element (as do most occupations), therefore muscles can get overworked and overloaded, this can lead to muscle fibres being torn on a microscopic level (micro-trauma). This is turn causes bleeding and inflammation; the body will repair this by forming adhesive bonds to heal the afflicted area. If the same muscles continue to be used this can lead to yet more overuse and secondary micro-trauma and so on, causing the formation of further scar adhesions. This may begin to affect the elasticity and function of the muscle, also having a knock-on effect to the whole muscular and skeletal system, which in turn can lead to a more complicated injury pattern.

 

Having regular sports massage helps to identify these problem areas and deal with them by using various frictional techniques to break-down scar tissue & fibrous knots, therefore, preventing further injury.

Improves self-awareness:

Regular massage helps the exercise enthusiast become more in-tune and aware of what is happening in different parts of their body. This helps them to adjust their training accordingly and can improve the quality and quantity of their training.

Improves recovery:

Massage boosts the circulation; consequently after exercise massage helps the circulation to remove waste from the muscles e.g. lactic acid and helps to bring fresh blood to the muscle fibre cells, helping to restore nutritional levels. This improves the recovery time for athletes, preparing them effectively for their next training session. 

Improved elasticity:

Deep longitudinal massage strokes and sports massage techniques e.g. STR ( soft tissue release), MET (muscle energy technique), can stretch specific localised areas of tissue by drawing them apart in all possible directions in a way that functional stretching by an athlete alone cannot achieve. This helps to improve the elasticity of muscles and the overall flexibility of the sports person, which ultimately enhances performance.

Relaxation:

Massage has an effect on the nervous system. It stimulates the nerve receptors in the muscles that control tissue tension and helps the body to let go and relax the tissues, releasing tension and helping to reduce pain. This affects tension throughout the body.

Massage triggers the parasympathetic system, which slows down the heart rate, deepens the breath and allows the whole body to enter a state of deep rest and relaxation.

In conclusion:

Whether you’re just about to start your summer exercise regime or whether you’re an all year round sports person, it is very beneficial for you all to build some quality time for regular sports massage into your training schedule.  Then you too can benefit from reduced injuries and IMPROVED PERFORMANCE! Your body deserves it!

 

Attention: Brighton marathon runners:

Remember the Coast Team will be offering Free Express Massages on the day of the Brighton Marathon at mile 18. Richard, Anne and I will be set up outside the clinic at 198, Church Road. Please come and see us if you’re struggling and hopefully we can help you get through the rest of the race, with a smile on your face.

We will also be available for post event treatments during normal clinic opening hours from Monday 16th April! GOOD LUCK & ENJOY !

Written by Jeanette Mahoney, Massage Therapist.

 

                                           

 

Advertisements