Sports & Remedial Massage should be an important part in the life of not only any sportsman or woman, but also those who wouldn’t consider themselves to be necessarily sporting, whether they be injured or not.
Massage has a number of benefits physically, physiologically and psychologically. It can help maintain the body and keep it in better condition, prevent injuries and mobility loss as well as cure and restore mobility to injured muscle tissue, thus boosting performance.
Physically, it can help tight or damaged muscle, allowing vital nutrients and blood back in thus giving space for energy and repair which can also aid in scar tissue. As waste products such as lactic acid are removed this will encourage the muscles to take in oxygen and nutrients which will aid in a quicker recovery time. On top of massage, stretching technques will allow for tension and pressure build up to be released.
Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, as does exercise. However, massage will also open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
Physiologically, massage can aid in pain reduction brought on by tension and waste products by releasing endorphins. Muscles also relax through thermo regulation which is massage heating up the muscles, increasing circulation and stretching muscle fibres. Sensory receptors responding to touch and pressure stimulate causing a reflex relaxation.
Psychologically, massage will decrease anxiety levels if done with slower movements, but also will invigorate with brisk movements and this is why both a pre and post massage can be extremely beneficial.