Sports Massage Therapy & Relaxation Massages
There are various types of massage therapy designed to release soft tissue which improves posture and performance. Sessions can be sports massage therapy or relaxation massage and will use different techniques depending on your needs. There are two huge misconceptions based around the idea of massage and in particular sports massage therapy:
1. It’s only for sportsmen
2. It hurts
The truth is a huge percentage of people will benefit from the effects of massage therapy whether it’s to increase flexibility, improve muscle tissue quality, clean out any grunge within the tissues or to improve mental karma through relaxation. What is really important when receiving any form of massage treatment is that the consultation is done correctly and your needs are met. As a level 3 massage therapist qualified in injury rehabilitation (through Premier Training International) David has developed an in-depth consultation process guaranteed to meet your needs. He also has an extensive referral system set up within the Northampton area to cater for any issues that may need further consultation.
Benefits of Sports Massage Therapy
Massage has a number of physical, physiological and psychological benefits.
Massage can generally help maintain the body in better condition, prevent injuries and loss of mobility, cure and restore mobility to injured muscle tissue and significantly improve performance both in the gym and your daily life.
Physical effects of massage
Pumping – The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
Increased tissue permeability – Deep tissue massage causes the pores in membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients that help them recover more quickly.
Improves tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
Stretching – Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
Break down scar tissue – Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can affect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
Opens micro-circulation – Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
Physiological effects of sports massage
Pain reduction – Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the bodies endorphins.
Relaxation – Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching. Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.
Psychological effects of massage
Anxiety reduction – through the effects mentioned above relaxation is induced and so reduces anxiety levels.
Invigorating – if massage is done with brisk movements, such as would be used before an event, then this action can produce an invigorating feeling.