Sports Massage: What is it?

Body-Wise gets a lot of calls from new clients asking if we do Sports Massage. The answer is yes but we also start asking a lot of questions. What are you looking for in your appointment? Are you in training for a particular event or are you simply involved in a specific type of activity? Have you strained a muscle lately? When is your next hard workout or event?  All of these questions determine what your “Sports Massage” program will be like.

Typically, the purpose of a ‘sports massage’ is to prepare the trained athlete for competition. Don’t worry if this is not you because many people who lead an active lifestyle and work out often are truly in training for competition: A healthy life. A sports massage offers decrease swelling to overused muscles, reduces muscular tension, gives you renewed energy, promotes flexibility and may prevent injuries. Sounds like just a massage, doesn’t it? Well yes and no. <read on>

There are manyTypes of Sports Massage: pre and post-event, restorative & rehabilitative.

Pre-event and post-event sports massages are done at a specific event site. Before the event, sports massage offers a short, stimulating massage to loosen the muscles up for performance.  It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion. A post-event massage is given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body’s tissues. It helps with cramping and promoting blood circulation to help the muscles detoxify themselves. These are great ways to warm up and cool down after running races, swimming or bicycle events and the tri-athlons that many people participate in.

The Body-Wise Team performing post-event massage at the Newport Naval Base Sprint Triathlon July 31, 2011

Sports massage for body restoration and rehabilitation is done at a clinic site.  Restorative sports massage is given during as specific training cycle. It  allows the athlete to train more vigorously and with less injury. The techniques used often blend a variety of massage styles and are as individualized for the person as there are activities to participate in.

A rehabilitative sports massage is aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health. It allows for relaxation to stressed muscle tissue as well as the mind. This allows the body to repair and the mind to refocus.  As in a restorative sports massage, the styles of bodywork are dependent on the client as well as the expertise of the therapist.

Sports massage, like all types of massages, has many benefits. In addition to FEELING GOOD, sports massage reduces helps reduce heart rate, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, reduces muscle tension, improves flexibility, and relieves pain. So whatever you participate from marathons on the road to the marathons of life, massage is good for you! When was the last time you had one?



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