do Joe Montana, Martina Navratilova and Michael Jordan have in common? All
three are athletes who reached the top of their sport with the help of
massage therapy. Each found that massage helps them maintain their level
of fitness as well as recover more quickly from injuries. Athletes on both
the national and local level take ad-
the increased interest in sports and fitness, many people besides
world-class athletes take advantage of sports massage. Both the weekend
athlete and the serious athlete in training can encounter soreness and
injury, making sports massage beneficial no matter how athletic a person
massage is a specialty within the field of massage therapy that focuses
specifically on assisting the training process, preventing injury and
aiding the healing process when injuries occur.
much of sports massage stems from Swedish therapeutic massage, there are
several important differences. In general, sports massage techniques are
deeper, more vigorous, more intense, and more specific.
benefits of sports massage:
Prevents muscle and tendon injuries
Reduces the strain and discomfort of training and chronic strain
Enables the athlete to recover more quickly from injury
Enhances athletic training
phases of sports massage
Maintenance Massage can assist the training process by focusing on
potential trouble spots before they become injuries.
Pre-event Massage stimulates circulation, calms nervous
tension, and prepares the athlete for optimal performance while reducing
the chances of injury.
Post-event Massage relieves soreness and assists in the removal
of lactic acid and other waste products.
Rehabilitative Massage can help speed the healing of sports
massage generally takes place at a sporting event. Massage therapists are
often behind the scenes at national and international competitions such as
the Olympics and the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. Before an event, massage
is used to help the athlete warm up, to get the blood moving and to help
the athlete relax mentally.
massage assists in reducing muscle spasms and waste products are flushed
away to help the athlete recover from the prolonged exertion.
treatment or rehabilitative massage can help speed the healing of sports
injuries. Tendinitis, sprains, shin splints and other common injuries
respond well to massage therapy.
Everyone, from children, soccer moms and
dads to marathon runners, can benefit from sports massage. Sports massage
can assist the athlete in all phases of competition reducing soreness
during the training process, giving a head start before the competition and
speeding the recovery after the event.