While many think of Sports Massage as being beneficial only to those who are professional athletes, that is simply not the case. Sports Massage can benefit athletes of all kinds. Those who enjoy the beauty of nature by running on the beach, cycling through the hills or hiking in the mountains will benefit from this massage modality. Others who bond to their gym and the opportunity for a daily work-out with aerobic activity or strengthening will find this modality therapeutic as well.
Although participating in sports or strengthening exercise can be good for you, we also see some trade-offs: sore muscles, stiffness, or depleted energy. Osmosis is prepared to meet the emerging needs associated with today’s trend toward greater activity through exercise or sports programs. We understand the importance of offering fitness related services to address sore muscles, limitation in joint mobility or lowered energy levels. Sports Massage is the perfect offering to meet the needs of sports and gym participants.
What is Sports Massage?
Sports Massage is a style combining a variety of massage techniques beneficial to anyone seeking a therapeutic massage experience. Common components of Sports Massage include:
- Brisker paced petrissage to increase circulation to muscles. Increased blood circulation ensures the muscles are nourished with fresh oxygen and nutrients and then flushed, eliminating any metabolic waste that can build up with increased activity.
- Range of motion techniques that open and lubricate the joints. Mobilizing the joints give the body the signal to produce more synovial fluid, which moistens the joints, ensuring more easeful, smoother movement.
- Passive stretches to lengthen the muscle fibers and increase flexibility.
- Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitated (PNF) stretches, an interactive technique including both the massage therapist and client. In PNF stretches, the client will be asked to push a limb against the force exerted by the therapist to engage and then relax the muscle. This is extremely effective in increasing the the flexibility and range of the muscle.
- Firm or deep massage techniques may be applied to areas with deeper tension patterns, or to “sore” muscles due to overexertion. The slow, deep massage techniques help to moved out lactic acid accumulation that often accompanies increase in muscle activity.
The American Massage Therapy Association states that research shows that, in relation to exercise and athletic participation, massage has 7 primary benefits.
- Reduce muscle tension. The increased and enhanced blood circulation due to massage helps to relieve muscular tension, reduce soreness and make for a faster recovery.
- Help to increase muscle tone. The research conducted at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging at McMaster University in Ontario shows that massage reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria, the energy-producing units in the cells after rigorous exercise, thus supporting improved muscle tone.
- Promote relaxation. It is long known that massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, increasing the relaxation hormone levels of dopamine and serotonin. Touch is also known to increase oxytocin, all resulting in a deeper state of calm and inner peace.
- Increase range of motion. The key to keeping the joints mobile is movement. Ranging the joints, as routinely performed in Sports Massage, will ensure an increased production of synovial fluid within the joint and easeful movement.
- Decrease muscle stiffness and soreness after exercise. Massage affects the cardiovascular system. It dilates blood vessels, helping them work more efficiently to promote circulation. The manual assistance of encouraging venous blood flow back to the heart enhances blood flow, which delivers fresh oxygen and nutrients to the tissue and promotes the removal of waste products and toxins. With the increased removal of metabolic waste, those who are physically active are less likely to experience soreness or stiffness after exercise.
- Enhance athletic performance. Athletic performance relies not only on the strength and flexibility of musculature, but also a strong, but relaxed mental focus. While massage increases the relaxation hormones of dopamine and serotonin, and decreases the stress hormone of cortisol, and athlete is supported in staying calm, relaxed yet focused when performing sports.
- Help prevent injuries when massage is received regularly. With ongoing massage treatment, muscles stay softer, more supple, and more available for use. A cold, contracted muscle is more likely to be strained in exercise or exertion than one that is well-nourished with increased blood flow, kept flexible with applied stretches, and is supported by well-lubricated joints.
For the athlete, the sports spectator, and anyone looking for a deeper, therapeutic experience of massage, Sports Massage is an excellent choice. To book a Sports Massage at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, you can CLICK HERE and enjoy!
Raizelah Bayen is a California Certified Massage Therapist, currently employed as the Director of Training and Massage Therapist Supervisor at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone, California. She has been practicing massage for over 25 years, and teaching T’ui Na, Acupressure, Sports and Pregnancy Massage in massage certification programs for 15 years. Raizelah is an approved CEU Instructor by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), offering trainings in Freestone, California and on-site training at your massage school or spa. For more information, connect with Raizelah Bayen on LinkedIn.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on upcoming trainings in T’ui Na, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Foot Reflexology, and Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers scheduled in Sebastopol, California. Or book Raizelah for an on-site training in your massage school or spa in T’ui Na, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Foot Reflexology or Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers.