The Benefits Of Sports Massage
Updated: Aug 11
What are the benefits of Sports Massage? It's one of the most talked-about recovery tools in modern-day sports science, yet most people couldn't name more than three benefits for having it! People are told all sorts of myths from 'it releases toxins', 'it flushes out lactic acid' and the list goes on. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of the true benefits of sports massage. 1). It relieves muscle tension
Often used in the early to mid-stages of injury and as a recovery tool, sports massage can assist by releasing muscle tension in muscles that have become oversensitive to stress. 2). It can improve tissue pliability
Relaxed muscle tissue is pliable muscle tissue. When muscles are in a pliable state, they contract and relax better than stressed muscle tissues.
3). Pain reduction
By applying pressure to the muscles through the skin, sports massage can desensitise little organs that sit inside the muscle tissues known as 'pain receptors'. By reducing the sensitivity levels in these receptors, it can help to provide pain relief.
4). It helps to identify warning signs When you accumulate hours upon hours of physical training, your body needs a full service, just like a motor vehicle would if it had thousands of miles put on it every month. When you have a sports massage, your therapist will be feeling for areas of tension and addressing areas of pain, but they'll also be looking for any movement asymmetries/ differences and imbalances that you may not have noticed. Essentially, they can help to identify warning signs, to help prevent the niggly pain from becoming an injury. 5). 'It's good for the soul' Not all benefits have to be physiological. In life, and especially in a performance environment, a huge factor that is often overlooked is the psychological impact of the things we choose to do. Allocating a little bit of time for your self-care can be as mentally rewarding as it is physically. If it makes you feel refreshed, recovered, relaxed and ready, then it's helping you.
Key things to look for when choosing a therapist. Due to the increasing popularity of the profession, you need to know what to look for when choosing a therapist to ensure you get the best out of your treatment. Experience is important in sports therapy, and the more experienced, the better. Remember, experience doesn't just come from years in the job, it's what they have done with their time.
Always ensure that experience is matched with the relevant qualifications. Once again, the higher the better. Private course providers offer courses up to level 5, whereas University course providers have BSc and MSc qualifications. Generally, a practitioner that is Level 5, BSc or above (MSc) will have good knowledge of human anatomy, biomechanics, physiology and will have completed various other studies including sports injuries, rehabilitation and strength and conditioning.
Look out for a referred or highly recommended practitioner. Don't be fooled, every sports therapist will say that they are 'qualified', but to what level? A variety of short courses are available in sports therapy that can be conducted in just a weekend! Be careful.
Make sure you have a good rapport with your therapist. Do they understand your needs and are they the right person to help you?
Hint, if your therapist talks about 'knots' in your muscles and 'putting your spine hips/ back in place every time you see them', it might be time to change therapist.
5 reasons to book with ZEN Anatomy Sports Therapy 1). We take the time to understand your situation and needs. 2). We have worked directly with World Champion athletes. 3). Have a BSc degree in Sports Therapy and a MSc degree in Sports Performance (which took 4 years to complete). 4). We are registered with the sports therapy association. 5). We keep up to date with the latest research and techniques by regularly attending conferences, seminars, webinars & CPD events. To book a session, click here. Our booking system is quick and simple to use.