There are many applications and benefits to sports massage. It can be used for:
- stripping out tight muscles
- loosening restricted joins
- warming up and stimulating the body before a competition
- improving recovery between training and competition
- restoring energy when fatigued
- treating strained muscles and strained ligaments
- helping to keep minor injury from becoming a more serious problem
- breaking up adhesions
- releasing tight connective tissues
- improving lymphatic circulation
- increasing blood circulation
- reducing swelling
- toning muscles
- muscle balancing
- treating postural deviations
- relieving pain
- deactivating trigger points
- treating orthopaedic and arthritic conditions
- enhancing body awareness
- reducing stress and anxiety
- providing psychological boost
- helping to keep the athlete in peak condition
- improving performance generally
- injury prevention
- general relaxation
- increasing well-being
Sports massage has a selection of potential physical, physiological and psychological effects. Which may directly or indirectly benefit all systems of the body, including:
- circulatory effects
- musculo-skeletal effects
- connective tissue effects
- psychological effects
The techniques of massage affect to varying degrees. All systems of the body either directly or indirectly. This depends upon which techniques are being employed. Which objectives the therapist is endeavouring to achieve. It is important to remember. Massage techniques have both direct or mechanical effects, and indirect or reflex effects. By some, massage therapy is used. As a specific complementary treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It must be noted that the specific use of applied massage for particular pathologies is an advanced area of study. It is requiring a deep understanding of the mechanisms at work, both in terms of the pathology and of the massage techniques.
Massage can help relieve pain through a variety of mechanisms:
- The pain gate theory is often used to explain that when additional pain-sensitive region. It can in effect, confuse or override the pain signals travelling to the brain and help block them out. This is why we instinctively rub ourselves when we feel pain.
- As a result of massage the brain can be stimulated to release endorphins. The body’s own morphine-like painkilling chemicals, into the nervous system.
- By increasing both local and general relaxation (reducing spasm, tension and stiffness). The tissues experience an improved blood circulation. Which results in increased removal of metabolic waste and improved oxygen and nutrient supply to the tissues. As the body relaxes, pain decreases.
- Psychologically, the experience of pain is known to be reduced simply by the act of therapeutic or caring touch.