Sports Massage Therapy
Sports massage has been used as an active healing for thousands of years now, and anyone that engaging in physical activity either for sports, fitness or recreation can definitely benefit from getting sports massage. The excellent thing about sports massage is that anyone can get it if they are old or young. It doesn't matter how fit or young you are because it still works the same on both. There is a principle behind this type of treatment called meridian therapy. Fundamentally, meridian therapy involves targeting specific points along energy channels to restore balance inside the body.
There are many advantages to getting a sports massage besides restoring bodily balance. One of the most notable and accepted benefits of sports massage is that it enhances blood flow. Lymphatic fluids drain into your lower extremities to keep you oxygenated, flush out any unwanted waste products, and help you move freely throughout the day. Sports massage helps circulate lymph fluid which is important to keeping you healthy and free of congestion. If you feel constricted or congestion on your upper body, then it might be due to a congested lymphatic system.
When you get a sports massage, the therapist will concentrate on the major muscle groups. This includes the shoulders, upper arms, back, hips, and buttocks. Most sports massage includes kneading and massaging the muscles, stretching the tendons, and massaging the fascia, or connective tissues on the surface of the muscles. These tissues provide flexibility and strength to the muscles, but they also cushion the muscles so that they don't tear when you move. Some therapists use light hand movements to help loosen up tight muscles.
There are particular muscle groups which are known to be painful after doing a certain motion or engaging in a certain activity. By way of example, if you were to rub your upper back muscles, you could likely expect some pain. When a therapist provides a sports massage, he or she focuses on those muscle groups to release muscle tension and relieve pain. In fact, most common sports related injuries happen due to overuse of muscles in the wrong locations.
Using a sports massage, the therapist will typically start by applying a topical anesthetic or nitrous oxide. The anesthetic numbness causes the muscles to relax, but it does not affect blood flow to the area, so the therapist uses more pressure with each stroke. More pressure is used, and the muscles are stretched and manipulated more intensely. Following the massage, your therapist may apply a cooling pad to minimize swelling and inflammation.
Although this seems like a very simple procedure, this sort of massage therapy is not something that should be done"just for fun". Although this is not considered a medical treatment, your therapist is still dealing with your mind/body connection and your emotions. Therefore, you must be aware of what is happening to you through the procedure. If you experience pain, tell your therapist immediately.
If you have soft tissue repair needs, you might experience muscle stiffness as well. This is normal when you first receive your treatment and usually goes away within a day. Your therapist may suggest a day or two of rest following your sports massage, based upon your injury and current condition. If you experience minor discomfort or soreness, then ask if there's a possibility of using heat or ice therapy on your injury.
Sports massage therapy is not for everyone. If you have active or semi-active muscles, soft tissue repair isn't an ideal solution. But if you suffer from chronic pain, have fractures, or other issues that affect the ligaments, tendons, and other tissues, you should consider it. Even if you are generally healthy, receiving a therapeutic sports massage can help reduce the amount of stress in your body, improve circulation, and encourage proper joint mobility. This is a great activity to add to your health regimen!