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The Effects of Sports Massage on Training and Recovery

Categories: Massage

The Effects of Sports Massage on Training and Recovery

I’m a great believer in sports Massage aiding your recovery and improving your performance.

This is one of many reasons why I trained to become a Sport Massage Therapist. I’ve been plagued by injuries in recent years after playing football and taking part in obstacle Course Races it had taken its toll on by body. I found coupling my training with regular sports massages helped me to keep my injuries at bay.

There are a few reasons for this and I’ll explain some of the key examples in this blog.

Depending on the type of massage you have can vary the results of the treatment. For example if you’re having an invigorating massage your going to be more alert during the treatment, whereas if it’s more relaxing massage you’ll find yourself unwinding and de-stressing during the session.

The physical effects of massage relate to changes to the structure being massaged. For example increasing blood flow to the skin, stretching soft tissues and reducing adhesions that might have occured. For example as you’re massaging the skin a redness will occur, but this is from the surface blood vessels opening which can increase the oxygen and nutrients getting to the cells, a bonus effect is your skin will feel softer to the touch as oil is produced reducing the dry and cracked skin.

You may have a build up of knots and areas of your body that feel less mobile, this is where small traumas occur in the body and the muscle doesn’t heal properly over time. Long term your muscles can feel tense and less flexible. Deep massage stroke will help to break down this scar tissue and adhesions and return the muscle to normal.

Once the massage strokes become deeper your skin, fascia and muscle become more palpable and this improves the lymphatic circulation and drainage. This helps the flow of the lymphatic system as it moves the waste products from the muscles. So if you’re somebody that feels run down after training or gets ill quite a lot a massage will help your body to prevent and fight infection.

This reduction in tension and waste products will also reduce the irritation that can happen at nerve endings in the body. If you’ve injured yourself or an area of the body feels tight this can cause pain and soreness at the particular site. When you massage that area, you’re slowing the nerve responses to get to your brain, which is why after a massage you can feel much better as your brain isn’t receiving a pain single from that area.

Physiological effects occur internally to the body. If you’re wanting to relax your muscles after training and competing, your massage will help to dilate the blood vessels, there is a reduction in neural stimulation, production of stress hormones and heart rate and blood pressure. All these factors play a role in helping the muscles to relax.

Psychological effects of massage mean there is a change to your state of mind or mood. For example after an event you want to de-stress and unwind a massage can help to focus your mind elsewhere and relax afterwards.

These are just a few benefits to having a sports massage, what has been your experience of having a sports massage and how has it helped you?