It’s no wonder that sports massage has been a popular buzzword since its introduction to orthopedic medicine in 1970. The incredible performance of 1972 Olympic winner Lasse Virén credited his win to his deep friction massage, and its popularity has grown ever since. Today’s modern sports massage treatment is not just for athletes but anyone looking to seek the mental and physical benefits of releasing knots and strains in deep layers of muscle tissue.
If you’ve ever thought that you need to be an athlete to benefit from the increased flexibility and improved performance effects of a sports massage, then you’re not the only one.
It’s a common misconception that “sports massage” is a technique itself when in fact it’s more of an approach to reduce the risk of injury and promote healing.
You don’t need to be an Olympic gold medalist to feel the benefits of a sports massage.
In fact, you don’t need to be sporty at all.
A sports massage can be a powerful ally for improved health and wellbeing. Even though we still encourage a healthy diet and exercise to improve body functioning, read on to find out the reasons why you should still be able to treat yourself to a sports massage without being particularly “sporty”.
1) It relieves stress
A sports massage shouldn’t hurt. Tell your therapist if you have any injuries before your massage, your therapist will know exactly how to avoid discomfort in those areas which will ensure that you have the most relaxing experience possible. Never be afraid to let your therapist know if the muscle they’re working on during the session isn’t as comfortable as it should be. Whilst a sports massage can often involve deep tissue work, the endorphins that get released from the massage should not only make you feel good but also help to relieve stress and reduce pain.
2) It stimulates blood circulation
A massage therapist can help lower your heart rate as well as stimulate your blood circulation. Improved circulation is not just enticing for athletes, as it helps the repair of their muscles to speed up, but improved blood circulation can help everyone. If you suffer from poor circulation, you may suffer from a variety of discomforts like cold hands and feet, fatigue, and muscle aches. Not only can improved blood circulation bring damaged muscles the oxygen needed to function, but it also heals wounds faster, keeps your brain sharp, keeps your heart healthy, and lowers the risk of blood clots.
3) Lymphatic drainage
A common benefit gained through a sports massage is that it can also help to stimulate the lymphatic system. Lymphatic drainage aids in the removal of toxins in the body, when this drainage is increased it will make lymph fluid move easier through your body’s nodes and tissues, which prevents it from getting trapped anywhere. Carrying metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs can lower blood pressure and improve body function. If you suffer from swollen lymph nodes make sure to let your therapist know, as regular stimulation of the lymph vessels can help to reduce swelling and drain any blockages.
4) Decreased muscle soreness
The deep tissue massage techniques will help anybody with muscle pain or tension problems. ‘Knots’ aka lactic acid can get stuck in a muscle and begin to form crystals, which is what often causes muscle aching and soreness. A sports massage therapist will know how to drain the muscles and get the lactic acid flushed out with a sports massage. Getting fluids and nutrients flowing in your body, will help to release endorphins and increase the feel-good factor that is associated with a massage. You don’t have to work out strenuously for hours to feel the decrease in muscle soreness associated with a sports massage.
5) Increased mobility
The promotion of physical changes that would benefit a sports performer can also benefit you. Enhancing performance with improved mobility can help to stay ahead of potential injuries. No matter what your fitness level is, we can all experience pulled muscles, back and neck pain, or bone inflammation. Loosening up those tight muscles and increasing synovial fluid inside the joints can help to keep you feeling limber and keep everything moving freely.
Hunched over a computer desk, long commutes to and from work, lifting heavy items without bending your knees, looking after the kids, lack of sleep. There are many reasons you might suffer from stress or exercise injury without being a sporting professional. From a housewife, labourer, or CEO to a student, you don’t have to be sporty to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of a deep tissue sports massage.