Why is sports massage so popular in elite sports? And how can you reap the benefits too!
One question I get asked a lot is:
'What does a sports massage do? I've had normal massages before but never a sports one?'.
Whilst I can't comment on the benefits of swedish or thai or any other type of massage, as I have not been trained in those, I CAN tell you what the benefits of sports massage are. Sports massage is the most popular type of massage in elite sports, and for good reason. There is tonnes of evidence to show its benefits both physically and neurally.
#1 Release tight muscles
So let's start with the most obvious. Sports massage is designed to release those tight muscles and work through those trigger points that may be causing you discomfort. We do this by increasing the temperature of the muscles, making them go a beautiful red/pink colour. We also stimulate the stretch and pressure sensors within the skin and musculature which helps the muscles to relax.
#2 Calm your nervous system down
When you've had pain for long periods of time from the same place i.e. your back, your nervous system can become heightened, and over sensitive to this area. As an example, I have worked on people before who can tolerate normal levels of pressure on the majority of their spine, but when you get to the tense, long standing back pain they can only manage very very light pressure. This is not because there is a catastrophic injury to the tissues here, it is simply because the nervous system has turned the volume up on the sensations being produced from this area. So with regular deep tissue massage, we can work with you to gently stimulate this area and by doing this gradually calm the nervous system down, so you have less discomfort.
#3 Helps you sleep better
Ever wondered why you leave a massage feeling tired, dopey, almost not quite with it?As a follow on from the point above, it is very tiring for our body to get continuous input into our nervous system, even more so when you're pregnant! This means that after the session you are much more likely to sleep better. This is a great thing for the body! Sleep provides the much needed recovery and reset our bodies need for the next day.
#4 Aids recovery
When you have completed any kind of exercise: from running a marathon to walking up a big hill, our body will produce waste products. These waste products, when left in the muscles and not pumped out can feel quite uncomfortable and achey. A deep tissue massage helps to flush these out and therefore aid recovery after a busy period of exercise.
#5 Reduces risk of injury
If I'm seeing someone for a right hamstring tear, one thing that can easily be forgotten is the left leg. This poor left leg has been working really really hard over the past however long to support its injured buddy on the right hand side. When muscles are overworked continuously, there comes a time when its had enough and injuries can occur. So having regular sports massage on the non injured side can ensure that it is getting the TLC than it needs whilst working double time to support the injured side.
These are just some of the many many ways that deep tissue massage can help you! Why not try it today? Book in now!