You’ve always been interested in a sports masseuse, but you aren’t sure what to do or how to incorporate it into your exercise program. If you’re looking to minimise post-exercise pain and recovery times, then read on. We’ve broken down all you need to know about the benefits of sports massage and when to have them, so you can take your training to the next level.
What is a sport massage?
An intensive, hands-on massage. sports massage is designed to improve sports performance, or post-activity recovery. Sports massage is a manipulation technique that works with your soft tissues to ease pain, improve healing, as well as prepare you to take on the physical demands of exercise. It’s a way to achieve balance whilst releasing tension. The main focus is on reducing stiffness and swelling. It can speed up healing and recovery from exercise. It’s also used for reducing scar appearance and improving mobility in the fascia around the scar.
There are many massage techniques that are designed to increase circulation, relieve tension, and improve tissue elasticity. The focus is on soft tissue, which includes skin, muscles and tendons, as well as fascia (which covers other soft tissue and can become restricted). It helps to eliminate the buildup of lactic acids that can occur during exercise.
A properly trained massage therapist can give a sports massage, as can physiotherapists. Secret Spa work with the UK’s leading, fully-trained sports masseuses, who will personalise your sports massage to address all your needs.
Sports massage techniques
Sports massage uses a number of different techniques. These include effleurage, petrissage (kneading), tapotement(cupping and hacking), friction, and vibration.
The pressure used to reach different layers of fascia and muscles is usually quite intense. This makes it more vigorous than the traditional massage. Swedish massage. Additionally, often no massage oils are used during a sports massage to enable the therapist to more accurately feel what’s going on with the fascia and other soft tissues.
A skilled masseuse will customize the massage to your needs and the benefits you want from it.
Benefits of sports massage
While the product was designed with the needs and preferences of a professional athlete in mind, it can also be used for everyday use. sports massage is actually a very good generic massage suited to many individuals, especially if they are experiencing pain or injury to a soft tissue. These are some of the benefits:
Overuse can cause stiffness and soreness in the fascia. Muscle aches, pains, and stiffness are all part of exercise. Sports massage can help reduce pain, particularly if it’s caused by inflammation. It’s believed that sports massage boosts circulation and this speeds up healing. Additionally, it’s common with sports to experience delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Sports massages, after exercise, are believed to be able prevent DOMS or minimize it.
Due to muscle tightness, athletes are more likely to sustain injury. Sports massages allow the soft tissues to expand and stretch without strain. Indeed, it’s well-understood that a sports massage can help increase the range of motion (ROM) of key joints needed for sports performance.
A sports massage can help you relax and focus before a performance or recover from the mental stress and strains that come with injury or exercise. Sports massage can increase your mood and improve your sense of well-being by releasing endorphins. A sports massage can make athletes feel more prepared for a performance. Many feel that a sports massage is a critical part of their athletic well-being – both physically and psychologically.
Scar tissue can cause fascia tightness, which can result in the loss of certain muscles and tendons. Sports massage can be used to remove scar tissue and release fascia below, which can help prevent injury or pain in the future.
A sports massage will help to relax tension levels by combining the therapeutic techniques of a massage with the relaxing nature of the treatment.
A sports massage can help reduce muscle spasms and cramps. This is partly due the benefits of sports massage, which help to eliminate buildups of lactic acid.
Reduce your risk of injury
It’s a difficult benefit to prove, but many who use sports massage report that they experience fewer injuries when regularly having a massage. Regular sports massages can also reduce the time it takes to recover between workouts.
Many people find that exercise alone helps them sleep better, but when they add a post-workout massage, they get more sleep and a better quality.
How often should a sports masseuse be done?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on the type of exercise, the amount, the intensity, as well as whether you are trying to improve performance or recover from injuries.
You should book your massages prior to important events and after most events. You will also need regular sports massages during your training sessions.
- Pre-event massage: It is recommended that you do this at least 2 days before the event to ensure that your training tapers are ready for competition.
- Massages for maintenance: These can take place as you wish. You may be ‘prescribed’ a course for injury healing. They can be performed before or after exercise, or in between sports events.
- Post-event massage: This should occur within the first few days after an event. It is best to do this after a period of cooling down and rehydration. The earlier the massage is done, the better.
Many people ask what to wear to a sport massage. If possible, keep the areas your therapist will work on unclothed. This allows your therapist to identify tight areas and adjust your massage accordingly. Wearing only your underwear is a good option. If you feel more comfortable, looser clothing can be worn.
By seamlessly integrating your training schedule with your sports massages, you can take the stress off of planning. Last-minute appointments are possible and can be booked for at-home massages that fit into your busy training schedule. If you’re still unsure about whether sports massages are right for you or how often to book them, our experienced team can advise you.