Sports Massage has many different benefits, some we will discuss below. The use of Sports Massage for hundreds of years in the medical and leisurely communities highlights its longevity. Today we're going to discuss some of the reasons why you might get a Sports Massage.
Sports Massage can be used to aid in the recovery of an injury. Sports Massage can increase blood flow to the desired area, which allows fresh nutrients and blood to flow and decrease the number of waste products. Minimising waste products helps to create a stable environment in the area and reduce the swelling. With less swelling, there is less pressure applied to receptors in the muscle group (called nociceptors). You will feel less pain or discomfort in the area when the swelling decreases! Less pain or discomfort allows people to continue their regular activities more comfortably.
Another reason why people may get a Sports Massage is to decrease the number of aches and pain they may be experiencing. People may suffer from general aches and pains continuously or infrequently, and in both cases, Sports Massage can help. The pressure applied during a Sports Massage creates a Pain-gating effect where the body focuses on the external force utilised by your therapist. In turn, reducing the pain or discomfort you were feeling before the Sports Massage. This phenomenon can work with most pains that you can't quite pinpoint or don't have a cause, such as non-specific lower back pain.
Next, people sometimes feel that a Sports Massage can decrease their stress levels because they can lie down and relax while they have their body taken care of by a therapist. Sometimes, a Sports Massage may be the only down-time a busy individual gets. This process of doing nothing for the hour can allow them to shut down and compile their thoughts or talk them out with their therapist. For the 21st century, mental health has come to the forefront of many awareness programmes. One of the most significant factors of helping yourself is decreasing your stress levels. However, remember your therapist will not replace the work undertaken by a GP or trained professional such as a psychologist. Therapists are just a good pair of ears and an excellent person to talk to should you need to.
Sports Massage has also been used to increase the full range of motion of a joint. I will not go into too much detail as the research can be contradictory. Research suggests Sports Massage inhibits your receptors to the elongating muscle (called Golgi-tendon organs). Inhibiting the receptors has the effect of allowing your muscles to stretch further before the receptors are activated once again. This can be quite a short-term benefit, and the research says it can decrease the risk of injury, whereas, some experts also theorise that this can increase the risk of injury with both parties making sense in their arguments.
Different populations such as professional athletes, powerlifters, gym-goers, long-distance runners and combat sports athletes use Sports Massage as a method of recovery. This list is not definitive but gives a good idea of the variety of different athletes that use Sports Massage as part of their training. Sports Massage allows their bodies to recovery quicker so they can train with maximal intensity time and time again with minimal levels of fatigue. Sports Massage can decrease the perceived effects of training such as the soreness of the muscles sooner than not doing anything to help reduce the pain.
As discussed in the first section, Sports Massage decreases the amount of inflammation around an area. This is not limited to just muscle injuries as Sports Massage pushes fluid called "lymphatic fluid" around the body into lymph nodes which then allows the liquid to recirculated. Drainage is vital as lymphatic fluid pools unless you are moving so during the massage the fluid is recirculated continuously around the body, which prevents pooling.
As you can see from this list, which is not exhaustive, there are many different reasons why people get a Sports Massage. However, the benefits of Sports Massage are genuinely amazing. From decreasing stress levels to injury recovery, the use of Sports Massage should be considered by everyone for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.