Sports massage should play an important part in the life of any sportsman or woman whether they are injured or not. Massage has a number of benefits both physical, physiological and psychological.
Physical effects of massage…………….Pumping (the stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels). Increased tissue permeability (deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through). Stretching (massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods). Break down scar tissue (scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscle, tendons and ligaments). Improve tissue elasticity (hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic). Opens micro-circulation (massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through easier).
Physiological effects of sports massage………..Pain reduction (tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain). Relaxation (muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching).
Psychological effects of massage……………Anxiety reduction (through the effects mentioned above relaxation is induced and so reduces anxiety levels).