Wondering what you need to know before your first Sports Massage? Continue reading to gain an insight into what you can expect, along with the many benefits Sports Massages can provide.

What actually is a Sports Massage?

In order to determine if this treatment is suitable for your specific needs, it’s important to understand what it entails. Although the name suggests this treatment is only for athletes or keen sportspeople, that’s not necessarily the case! Sports Massages can help promote recovery following an injury and are excellent at reducing muscle tension.

Sports Massage uses a combination of techniques, these may differ slightly depending on your chosen massage clinic. Generally, the following techniques will be used:

  •         Effleurage – This involves light, long movements along the skin. When Effleurage is carried out, the therapist will usually keep their hands and fingers flat.
  •         Petrissage – This technique uses additional pressure and is used to target specific muscles groups and soft tissue. It includes kneading to break down scar tissue (knots), squeezing the muscles and stretching them to release tension.
  •         Compression – When it comes to compression, pressure is applied to problem areas to relieve tension and increase circulation. 
  •         Friction – Circular or cross-fibre movements are used to apply pressure to deep muscles. This is usually achieved using the ball of the thumb or fingers.

What are the benefits of a Sports Massage?

Sports Massage therapy can provide many wonderful benefits both physically and mentally, examples of these include:

  •         Reduced recovery time and prevention of future injuries.
  •         Mentally and physically prepares you for sporting events and competitions.
  •         Reduced muscle tension and removal of unwanted toxins e.g., lactic acid.
  •         Increased circulation of both blood flow and the Lymphatic System.
  •         Improved sleep quality – this is more likely to be achieved through regular treatments.

Things to think about before your Sports Massage appointment:

Before booking a Sports Massage, it’s important to research the treatment type and to find a fully qualified, reputable therapist. If you’re suffering from injury, notify the therapist prior to your booking, which allows them to amend the treatment accordingly. It’s common to feel dehydrated after a Sports Massage, so drink plenty of fluids before and after the session.

Are Sports Massages painful?

This is something that many people ask and many also find out for themselves very early into the treatment. Compared with other massage types, for example, Swedish Massage Therapy, Sports Massages are usually a more painful experience. When preparing yourself for a Sports Massage, try and think of it as you would do a workout.

Don’t let any of this put you off – you’ll get used to it in no time! Sports Massage isn’t intended to cause significant pain, but it is a physical massage which is also why it’s so successful. Plus, the benefitsshould far outweigh any discomfort and if anything is causing pain during your massage, notify your therapist.

We hope this has provided you with a good insight and has left you feeling well prepared for your Sports Massage! 

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