Has tension built up in your legs and back because of playing sport, exercising or sitting at your desk for hours?
Sports massage is one of the most effective ways to maintain and protect the body from aches, pains and injuries. It focuses on the soft tissues and is firmer and more targeted than the kind of massage you would get in a spa or beauty treatment centre.
Amateur and professional athletes alike use sports massage to help them recover from injuries or intensive training, reduce pain and prevent further damage - as well as to warm up, cool down or relax before or after exercise.
Sports massage can help even if you don't exercise regularly. Perhaps you’re worried about muscle tension due to stress, desk work or a bad posture.
Sports Massage Therapists can tailor the therapy to your specific needs, such as stiffness in the limbs, tense muscles or ligaments, or back pain.
What are the benefits of sports massage?
In sports massage, qualified therapists use intense massage techniques that often involve quite a fast pace, heavy kneading of the body's soft tissue areas – such as muscles, tendons and fascia and some specific techniques such as active release and trigger point therapy.
Here are four reasons you should try a sports massage:
- To reduce pain
Pain can affect any part of the body. A bad back is one of the most common complaints.
Tight and damaged muscles are painful and really benefit from being released. Those tense muscles also hold on to waste products such as lactic acid, so a deep tissue massage will help get the fluids and nutrients flowing and will help the body to release its own natural endorphins.
Ready to try your first sports massage?
- To relieve tension and stiffness
Deep massage combats tension and stiffness by warming and stretching the tissues and increasing blood flow to the muscles. This helps the muscles to move more easily and flexibly.
- To prevent 'delayed onset muscle soreness' (DOMS)
Sometimes called “muscle fever”, DOMS is the painful, stiff feeling that usually comes on after exercise that was particularly strenuous or unfamiliar to your body. It appears hours - or even days - later. A sports massage will help to ward off DOMS before the tension and discomfort kicks in.
- It can make you feel good
Athleticism isn't all about physical strength. Most of us will know how great it feels to have even a simple, relaxing back massage. An intensive, targeted sports massage has many positive effects on your psychological wellbeing, which helps improve performance and recovery. The specialist techniques will encourage the body to release its own mood-enhancing chemicals, dopamine and serotonin. This helps to increase calmness and focus - and to reduce anxiety.
So what are you waiting for? An injury?