Describing it in a nutshell, Sports Massage is a specialty massage technique that was created and developed with athletes in mind. And as such, the Sports Massage prepares the bodies of professional and amateur sportspersons for their best possible performance before participating in a sport and it then helps their bodies to recover afterward. However, just because the Sports Massage was designed for those participating in sports, you do not have to be an athlete to reap the benefits from it. After all, athletes are not the only people who get injured, and they by no means hold the monopoly on pain.
The Sports Massage is, in effect, one of several forms of Swedish massage and it promotes increased circulation of blood and lymph fluids in the body. To break down or dissolve adhesions, which are painful lumps or knots within the muscles, and to widen the range of motion of stiffened joints, trigger point therapy is incorporated as part of the Sports Massage session. There are four different types of Sports Massage therapies and their distinction is made primarily by its time of performance in relation to the athlete’s sport activity. In other words, it is mainly their timing that makes them different from one another. The four types of Sports Massages are designated as follows:
- Pre-Event Sports Massage. The Pre-Event Sport Massage is a vigorous but shortened massage treatment that lasts anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes and is performed right before the sports event. Its main focus is on those specific parts of the athlete’s body which will be most intensively involved in the action.
- Post-Event Sports Massage. The Post-Event Sport Massage is performed within an hour or two of the event and its aim is to return bodies to their normal state by helping them recover from the hard work in the shortest time possible.
- Restorative Sports Massage. The Restorative Sports Massage is applied while the athlete is in training and it helps him or her practice harder while, at the same time, decreasing the chances of incurring injuries.
- Rehabilitative Sports Massage. The Rehabilitative Sports Massage is there to pick up the proverbial pieces by treating the injuries which resulted from the exertion of the sport. The foremost objective of Rehabilitative Sports Massage is to relieve pain and to return the body to its former, pre-injury state.
So, whether you are a professional or an amateur athlete or simply a citizen of the world who happens to have a precise problem such as a sore knee from your morning jog around the block or a frozen should because you slept on the wrong side of the bed or a stiff back because you forgot to use your legs when lifting the grocery back and so on, do yourself a favor and see a Sports Massage therapist. And the best way to find one is by getting referrals from reliable sources or by doing some research. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) and the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) suggests that you ask the following questions when interviewing a potential Sports Massage therapist or any other type of massage therapist, for that matter:
- Did you graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA)?
- Are you licensed or registered as a massage therapist in this state?
- Are you certified by the national Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)?
- Do you have training in any specific massage modalities?
Beyond all that, you should just relax and enjoy the process while your body is being directed onto the path of healing.