The High Performance or Sports Massage is a common selection for our athlete and active clients. The massage focuses on the manipulation of the soft muscle tissues to help improve muscle performance and mobility, reduce risk of injury, and it supports the healing of injuries.
This type of massage uses a combination of the following techniques:
- Swedish Style – Rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart.
- Effleurage – Involving a circular stroking movement made with the palm of the hand.
- Petrissage – A massage technique that involves kneading the body.
- Tapotement – Rapid and repeated striking of the body.
- Ischemic Compression – Deliberately increases the blockage of blood to an area so that, upon release, there is a resurgence of blood.
- Vibration – Fine, gentle, trembling movement performed with hands or fingers.
- Gliding – Slow, deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers.
- Stretching – The muscles are stretched and held for a few seconds at a time to expand mobility.
- Friction – Small circular movements to penetrate deep tissues, usually with the thumb.
- Deep Strokes – Uses pressure and firm, manipulative movements to get into the deep layers of tissue, including tendons and fascia.
- Trigger Points – Identifying and massaging through an area that gets so irritated that the body misinterprets the signal, causing the person to feel as if the pain is coming from somewhere else.
This type of massage can benefit everyone, athlete or not. Anyone who has a soft tissue condition, or wants to improve their general well-being or health can be helped.
The sports massage contains benefits, such as:
- Increased flexibility and range of joint motion. This massage helps to release soft tissue tension and stiffness, decrease muscle spasms, release restrictions, soften and realign scar tissue, and loosen-up adhesions (“knots”). As a result, the range of motion will increase, leading to greater flexibility.
- Increased awareness of the pain, tension, or soreness in the body through the therapist’s massage of the damaged tissues. This will help you to understand how your muscles are performing, and as a result may require adjustment to your exercise or training routine.
- Greater psychological benefits by indirectly influencing your nervous system. Massage encourages relaxation, and increases the production of endorphins, a natural painkiller and mood enhancer, that create a sense of well-being. After receiving a massage, you become energetic, less anxious mand your mood is improved.
- Reduced stress on joints. When tension and restrictions in soft tissue is released, the balance of muscle function is re-established. This results in increased mobility and flexibility.
- Increased blood flow, brings more oxygen and nutrients to tissues and removes waste products, such as the build up of lactic acid. As a result, your body’s muscular system works more efficiently.
- Stimulates a variety of sensory receptors and soothes nerves.
- Helps boost the immune system by promoting fluid movement through the tissue by assisting in the elimination of toxins. Additionally, sports massage increases white blood cell count, and helps the body to fight disease and infection.
- It promotes a healthy digestive system. When the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated, the digestive movement will increase through peristalsis, and this helps to relieve constipation, colic and gas.
- Improves recovery of the muscles and decreases muscle spasms caused by demanding exercise.
- Decreases or prevents injury as sports massage improves the condition of the muscle.
- Faster recovery. Sports massage helps the muscles to recover from soreness or stiffness due to intensive exercise.