Sports massage is designed for highly active people who engage in sports or physical activity. Engaging in sports is unforgiving on the body and can often lead to injuries in both the short and long term. Sports massage enhances performance and prolongs a sports career by helping prevent injury, reduce pains and swelling in the body, relax the mind, increase flexibility, and dramatically improve recovery rates. Sports massage is also highly effective in aiding the rapid recovery of an athlete from an injury by encouraging greater kinesthetic awareness and in turn promoting the body’s natural immune function.
The purpose of the pre-event sports massage is to prepare the athlete for high-intensity activity. The athlete will receive his/her massage 30 min- 2 hours before an event. Pre-event sports massage prepares the athlete for peak performance, reduces muscle tension, increase circulation to the muscles, promotes flexibility and prevents injuries. The techniques I utilize in my pre-event massage are: effleurage, compression/broadening, stretching, petrissage (kneading), and tapotement (percussion). All techniques should be performed at a rapid pace to increase blood flow to muscles and prepare them for physical activity.
Post Event Massage
The purpose of post-event sports massage is to aid in the physical recovery of the athletes’ body. The athlete usually receives this massage 30 minutes to 24 hours after their event. Benefits of post-event sports massage include decreased recovery time, reduced muscular swelling and edema, and provide a calming effect physically and mentally. This is one of the post powerful tools an athlete can use in recovery, especially for those athletes competing the next day or soon after.
Stretching is advisable before and after and event. Stretching elongates the muscles and helps prevent acute injury. Increased blood flow, flexibility, range of motion, balance, posture and coordination are all benefits achieved by a properly designed stretching routine.