Sports massage is a form of massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue to benefit anyone engaged in regular physical activity. It is designed to assist in correcting problems and imbalances in soft tissue, caused from repetitive and strenuous physical activity and trauma. Sports massage prior to and after exercise, may enhance performance, aid recovery and help prevent injury.
Pre Event Massage
Massage prior to an event prepares the body for intense activity, it is short, stimulating and aimed at the parts of the body involved in the exertion.
Pre event massage warms the muscles causing an increased blood supply (hyperaemia) in specific muscle areas. Thus enabling the sportsman/woman to reach peak performance earlier and maintain that performance longer. It is not a replacement for a proper warm up, but an aid to warming the muscles. It takes approximately fifteen minutes and should take place about two hours prior to the event. The sportsperson would still benefit even if received the day before.
Post Event Massage
Ideally this should take place within the first two hours after the event, preferably after a bath or shower so that the muscles warm. The aim of this treatment is to clear out metabolic residue caused by intense effort. This type of massage promotes rapid removal of metabolic waste and is much more effective than rest, in recovery from muscle fatigue. These techniques enhance the movement of lymph and blood out of worked muscles and back to the heart, as well as flushing out lactic acid formed as a result of oxygen depletion from the muscles. This prevents soreness and helps the body recover quicker from exertion.
Massage During Training
Regular massage can locate and relieve areas of stress that carry risks of injury. It also increases blood and lymph circulation, allowing more efficient removal of metabolic waste. These benefits make more intense and frequent workouts possible, thereby improving overall performance.
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