The modern history of sports massage started at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. Paavo Nurmi from Finland brought a personal massage therapist to the running competition and won 5 gold medals. Nurmi claimed that his training program included this special massage treatment.
Sports massage is very popular in European countries and long has been. Many different kinds of athletes reap the benefits of sports massage.
Only in the past decade has sports massage has really become accepted and readily promoted and used in the United States.
Sports massage is usually used to get athletes ready for performance, to recover after an event or to help during training. It emphasizes the prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons.
Sports massage is a type of Swedish massage that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids.
This technique usually includes:
1.Pre-event: brief, invigorating massage given within an hour of event incorporating rocking and compressions.
2. Post-event: calming massage incorporating slow compressions and stretches.
The physical effects of sports massage include:
Pumping: The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
Improve tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
Stretching: Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
The benefits of sports massage are varied and great…
Energizes pre-event and relaxes post-event
Reduces muscle soreness and fatigue
Improves recovery time after a workout
Injuries are minimized
Promotes faster healing after injury
However you don’t have to be a professional athlete to reap the benefits from this treatment modality. It can help you with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion.
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