Sports massage involves manipulating soft tissue to benefit anyone engaged in regular physical activity i.e. exercise, manual work, even carrying your shopping bags. Soft tissue, simply put is connective tissue that has not hardened into bone and cartilage and includes skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia (essentially the tissue that separates everything in your body). Sports massage assists in correcting problems and imbalances in soft tissue that are caused from repetitive and strenuous physical activity, trauma & lack of maintenance. This includes sprains & strains, poor posture, using poor form in the Gym, not stretching etc. Aside from assisting in the rehab of these issues getting a regular sports massage can:
Improve flexibility - from a training point of view having greater flexibility is a no brainer when it comes reducing the risk of injury & training with optimal form
Increases mobility & range of motion - Most of you are familiar with tight muscles & 'knots'. These are usually caused by muscles fibers sticking together causing a hard lumpy feeling, which can be removed with certain techniques used in sports massage!
Increased flow of blood to the muscles - Reducing tension in your muscles allows for better flow of blood which is important for the delivery of nutrients i.e. protein, and the supplements you spend all your hard earned money on. Therefore a softer, massaged muscle repairs and grows quicker and easier.
Removes metabolic waste - Training hard for sport or in the Gym creates an array of metabolic waste products such as lactates. Improving blood flow allows for these to be cleared effectively to aid in quicker recovery times.
Eases delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) - Those who have trained to any level will most likely have experienced some level of muscle soreness that has come on usually about 24-48 hours after training. Having a massage will help the flow of blood and lymph throughout the body which will lead to improved oxygenation to the painful areas, reducing soreness and potentially speeding up recovery time.
Relieves pain & discomfort - Sports massage removes tension and pressure on the muscles, can assist in the correction of posture dysfunction and releases endorphins.
Can de-stress & reduce anxiety - Through the alleviation of pain and by allowing your muscles to relax, sports massage can de-stress your mind & body & reduce levels of anxiety.
Improves sleep! - As with the reason above, this also enables a boost in serotonin levels, leading to an improved neurotransmitter balance.
Promotes relaxation - Through the reduction in muscle & joint stress and through the release of endorphins.
Increases performance!!!! - Increasing flow of oxygen, blood and nutrients to relaxed, toxin free & mobile muscles is paramount to performing at optimal levels, increasing your 1 rep max, improving fat oxidation & building lean muscle mass!
Author: Steve Brenner, Sports Massage Practitioner of Mind & Muscle Clinic & Personal Trainer & Nutritional Coach at Mind & Muscle Fitness
If your local to Folkestone, Kent book your appointment for sports massage online at www.mindmuscleclinic.co.uk or call us on 01303 277 772