The Benefits of Sports Massage Therapy
The art of massage has been used as physical therapy by varying cultures for well over 3,000 years. With the passage of time, along with the advancement of communications, the ease of travel, and the exposure of different civilizations to one another, many forms of massage have evolved.
One beneficial, targeted type of massage, is commonly known as a sports massage. This type of massage is intensely therapeutic, and involves specific stretching and compression techniques, implemented in a way that helps the body’s connective tissue and muscles. The general purpose of sports massage therapy is to rehabilitate soft tissue dysfunction, which can result from physical labor, lifting weights, gardening, or a sport-related injury, for example.
Sports massages are also used as part of a warm up session for athletes before, during and after they engage in an athletic event. The benefits of receiving a sports massage on a regular basis are numerous, and prepares an athlete for peak performance, by promoting flexibility while helping to prevent injuries. These massages reduce swelling, relieve muscle tension, and alleviate fatigue.
It should be emphasized that it is not necessary to be an athlete, or to suffer some type of injury, in order to receive sports massages. Those with an active lifestyle who receive these types of massages on a regular basis, benefit from continuous flexibility and a wide range of movement. Many of us lead lives that require us to exert a continuous amount of effort, with periodic short breaks in between. We are constantly straining our bodies, which can slowly but surely result in physical damage to our tissues, which can be prevented by sports massage therapy.
In addition to the aforementioned beneficial effects of this type of massage, it can also benefit your body in other ways. Sports massages increase lymph flow and blood circulation, while reducing heart rate and blood pressure.
The sports massage therapist has to be well skilled in his or her craft. He or she needs to be knowledgeable about the human body as a whole, must be thoroughly familiar with every muscle, muscle group, and all of the connective tissue in the human body, while also knowing exactly how each muscle, and it’s surrounding tissue is affected by certain activities. When looking for a sports massage therapist, or a massage therapist in general, it is of utmost importance to make sure that they are qualified and competent. If they are not, damage will be done to your body, which can be quite serious. It should also be noted that in the event of seeking massage therapy after an injury, the injury itself has to reach a certain level of healing, before a massage can be implemented.