A sports massage is a special massage that was once used on athletes, but it is now used on the general public for a variety of physical problems. The massage techniques used in a sports massage are designed to either prepare the muscles or joints for strenuous physical activity or to help speed up the recovery of an injury resulting from an athletic or overly strenuous activity.
A sports massage is a form of Swedish massage that often includes Shiatsu massage techniques. The three main massage techniques primarily used in sports massage are petrissage, effleurage, and frictions which all help to stimulate circulation of the blood and lymph fluids. The massage movements will help loosen and break down muscle knots and increase range of motion. It does this by alleviating the tension that accumulates in the soft tissues during physical activity. As well, it relieves swelling and promotes flexibility.
A sports massage involves massaging deep tissues using the elbows, knuckles, and fists. It is suitable for muscle and tissue injuries, chronic pain, inflamed areas, and improving range of motion. The main emphasis of a sports massage is to prevent and heal injuries and is often referred to as a rehabilitative sports massage as it seeks to return the body to optimal health.
There are many people who choose a sports massage. They could have an injured knee or a pulled muscle or ligament as the result off running, strained back muscles from picking up a heavy object, sore arm or shoulder from playing a sport such as baseball or football, or someone may have had a slip and fall accident and suffered a muscle and tissue injury. The movement and patterns of a massage are often determined by the nature and location of the injury. The sports massage therapist will focus on the problem area rather than giving a full body massage.
Sports massage has a number of health benefits. It makes the recipient feel good, boosts blood circulation and lymph flow, decreases blood pressure and heart rate, decreases muscle tension, alleviates pain, promotes relaxation, and improves flexibility. Even if you are not a professional athlete, a sports massage can be a very beneficial experience.