Sports massage has always been a popular form of natural therapy recommended for athletes. Nearly all professional athletes undergo this type of massage regularly because they experience a lot of health benefits during and after undergoing treatment.
Providers of sports therapy courses, though, are quick to point out that it’s not only professional and self-proclaimed athletes who should undergo this particular type of massage regularly. If you aren’t a sportsperson but habitually work out or simply have a more active lifestyle, you will also do well to undergo sports massage since you will experience the following benefits:
1. Alleviates the symptoms of DOMS
Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS is a type of muscular pain that you will often feel a day or two after trying a new kind of exercise or workout program. It is also something that you will feel if you exert yourself more heavily than usual.
The soreness typically peaks 48 hours after working out. However, it may take up to a week or longer for the pain to completely disappear.
The gliding, squeezing, and pumping action you will get from sports massage will promote better blood and lymph flow throughout your body. This, in turn, will help prevent muscle fatigue and encourage better oxygenation. As a result, you will fight off the pain you can get from DOMS.
2. Improves blood and nutrient circulation in the body
When you work out excessively or exert too much physical effort doing something, such as packing and moving, your muscles will become hard and tough. Because of this, blood and nutrients will have a hard time circulating in and around the different muscles.
Getting regular massage will soften your hard muscles and improve the supply of blood and nutrients to the tissues. This will improve muscle health and aid in healing and repairing strained muscles.
Additionally, while getting a massage, your blood vessels will dilate and the membrane pores will expand. This facilitates more efficient distribution of oxygen and nutrients for the repair of your muscles.
3. Increases flexibility and mobility
Tight and tough muscles make it hard for blood, oxygen, and other nutrients to circulate throughout your body. They also make it difficult to stretch them properly thereby making them prone to injury.
Getting a massage means subjecting your body to the focused stroking of the soft tissues, longitudinally and laterally. This will improve muscular mobility and correct imbalances. Massage will help release accumulated tension from the sheaths around the muscles as well.
Additionally, regular sports massage will enable overly tense muscles to relax and become more flexible.
4. Provides relief from everyday pain
Whether you suffer from a chronic back pain or a sore knee, any type of pain is uncomfortable and can make it hard to do specific tasks. Hence, chronic pain can make it difficult for you to exercise or engage in your favorite physical activities.
Massage therapy can reduce this recurring pain since it will remove the pressure buildup in your muscles which is often caused by congestion and metabolic irritants. In addition, massage has been proven effective in promoting the release of endorphins in the body and, as such, will provide additional pain relief.
5. Boosts your energy levels
Regular strenuous workouts and overworking can make you feel tired and lazy. You can ensure you will have the energy you need to get back to work or to exercise again the next day by getting a sports massage.
Since the massage will improve your body’s blood circulation, oxygen will be delivered to all the cells. This activity will effectively boost your energy levels.
Additionally, whenever you get a massage, your lymphatic system is improved. This, then, will help your body to detoxify more easily.
The combined action of better blood circulation and the improved lymphatic system will allow you to get rid of that sluggish, tired feeling. This feeling of being energized is usually something you will feel after getting a good massage.
To experience all these health benefits, do as the athletes do: get a massage before and after you work out or engage in a strenuous activity.
Reward yourself with a sports massage after working out or doing something physically exhausting, whether or not it is sports-related. It’s a great way to stay healthy and fit and to rejuvenate your body and prepare it for the next round of physical activities you plan on engaging in.
Marc Innes is the Owner and Principal of the School of Natural Therapies, a training school for Massage & Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc began his career in the NHS, working in a number of managerial and training roles within the Ambulance Service in London. He spent much of that time educating and coaching medical staff. Over time, he developed an interest in all things complementary to Allopathic Medicine, in particular, Reiki Healing and EFT, which culminated in running a successful teaching and ‘energy healing’ practice. Marc is passionate about the massage and complementary therapy industry.