9 Benefits Of Sports Massage Everyone Should Experience

Massage is one of the oldest therapies that increases blood circulation and recovers muscular strength. However, over the years, many massage therapies have come into existence, like Swedish, lymphatic, and sports massage.

Sports massage is one of the most effective therapies for muscle recovery and releasing joint tension. Unfortunately, a mistaken belief exists that the term applies only to professional athletes and sportspeople. However, it is not so. So, if anyone can have a sports massage, why is it called ‘sports’ then?

Although sports massage is fairly similar to deep tissue massage, there are underlying differences. Deep tissue massage is focused on a larger area, whereas sports massage focuses on smaller areas curing sports injuries. But why must you choose sports massage instead of other massages? Here is a list of the benefits it offers.

Advantages Sports Massage Offers

Sports massage is a popular choice for its countless benefits. However, if it is your first time exploring the term, the below list will prove beneficial. 

1. Cures Pain And Inflammation

Athletes and gym buffs suffer from muscular pain often. The persistent pain and muscle soreness hinder the body’s functionality, adversely affecting performance. Research shows that massage activates the Mitochondria cells [5], suppressing pain and reducing discomfort. The controlled movements of the therapist stretch the muscle tissues, clamming the stress and promoting a recovery environment within the body.

2. Injury Recovery

Falls are inevitable if you train. They induce muscular injuries, from mild to severe ones. Sports massage is an excellent remedy for recovering from injuries [1]. Experts recommend taking a 60-minute-long sports massage after extensive training to keep the body functioning properly. It also speeds joint recovery in case of twists or abrasions.

The systemic movements during the process increase the tissue permeability allowing nutrients and blood to pass through the affected part. Oxygenated blood and a plentiful supply of essential nutrients into the scarred tissues speed up the healing process.

3. Relaxation

A relaxed body ultimately performs better. Sports massage increases the body’s flexibility before, during, and after the exertion. The internal relaxation gained from the massage stimulates the mind and body, making you feel zealous mentally and physically.

4. Sports Massage Improves Sleep

Muscular soreness has adverse effects, physically and mentally. You continuously feel tingling in your body and a similar thumping in your mind. Such conditions result in poor sleep. 

Sports massage relaxes your mind and body, promoting quality sleep. A poor sleep routine reduces your body’s performance and immunity.

5. Releases Psychological Tension

Physical exertion tires your body and triggers psychological tension in your mind. For instance, you might have lost a game or have a critical match coming. Similarly, you might be subconsciously thinking how the long practice day will leave you sore and tired.

Sports massage is the perfect solution for all the conditions mentioned above. The therapy releases neurotransmitters [2](Endorphins), reducing anxiety and mental stress and promoting a good mood.

6. Promotes Blood Circulation

Promoting blood circulation is another major benefit of sports massage. The therapy increases blood flow which in turn cures muscular soreness. Therefore, getting a massage after a strenuous game has numerous health benefits, as it improves the vascular function of the body.

 7. Stimulates Lymph Activities

Analogically, the lymphatic system is like the sewerage system of the human body. It is responsible for removing the excess fluid leaking from the blood vessels. Thus, maintaining the body’s functionality and immunity. It is also responsible for fighting off the illness-invading particles in the body.

Sports massage strengthens your lymph activities as well. The applied pressure and symmetric movements stimulate lymphatic drainage[3]. Thus, it works efficiently, alleviating body soreness, muscular weakness, and swelling.

8. Sports Massage Increases Performance

Athletes require more muscular flexibility and strength, and massaging is one logical way to attain it. Therapies like sports massage stretch the muscles’ fiber increasing their flexibility. Hence, you’ll perform better without running out of breadth. Moreover, it also pumps fresh oxygenated blood to the muscles, warming them up for peak performance.

9. Lowers Blood Pressure

Mental stress leads to blood pressure. The higher the anxiety or stress, the more the blood pressure. Massaging is a great way to calm your nervous system. Deductions from an experiment conducted on women suffering from hypertension reveal that a 10 to 15 minutes massage greatly reduced their blood pressure. Moreover, the massage’s effects [4] lasted almost 72 hours. Swedish massage is the most effective if you want a massage to reduce blood pressure. However, sports massage therapies also reduce blood pressure considerably.

Conclusion

Sports massage is a proven therapy for reducing muscular pain and soreness after strenuous activities. However, in addition to the conventional benefits, sports massage also provides other advantages. It upscales the body’s energy levels, reduces blood pressure, and improves psychological health.

Moreover, it also stimulates the body’s lymphatic system to increase immunity. The pressured movements increase tissue permeability resulting in speedy injury recovery. There are some conditions when you must avoid sports massage. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a doctor before the procedure. 

FAQs

1. Is sports massage only for athletes?

Absolutely not! Anyone with muscular soreness or sports injuries can have a sports massage. It helps increase muscular strength and body alertness, promoting health.

2. How is a sports massage different from other massages?

Sports massage primarily focuses on a specific body part rather than the whole body. Therefore, it is common among athletes as it is the ideal way of curing sports injuries.

3. Should you get a sports massage for injuries?

Yes, sports massage is an excellent way to reduce the after-effects of injuries. The process promotes blood circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system as well. Thus, speeding up the healing capacity of the body. 

4. Can a single sports massage fix all muscle issues?

Sports massage has tremendous benefits. However, it is essential to note that no magical factor is involved. The massage session will alleviate the soreness for a limited time only. Therefore, you must get regular massages to maintain the body’s performance and flexibility.

5. Is sports massage appropriate during pregnancy?

Pregnancy triggers hormonal modifications, which result in inflamed joints and other muscular strains. Sports massage can be a lifesaver here. It improves the body’s well-being and energy levels improving physical and psychological health.

6. How do you feel after a sports massage?

There are some unpleasant conditions if you have never taken a massage before. Your body will feel sore after the procedure. Moreover, you might feel dizzy, cold, or thirsty in the preceding days. You can take a warm bath or drink more water. Note that these are not high-alert conditions. Your body will adapt to the process if you keep taking massage sessions.

References:

[1]https://www.physio.co.uk/treatments/massage/physiological-effects-of-massage/hormonal-effects/increased-endorphines-serotonin-dopamine.php/#:~:text=Increased%20endorphins%2C%20serotonin%20and%20dopamine,well%2Dbeing%20and%20reduce%20anxiety

[2]https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/10/massage-helps-injured-muscles-heal-faster-and-stronger/ 

[3]https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21768-lymphatic-drainage-massage#:~:text=When%20something%20disrupts%20your%20lymphatic,the%20swelling%20in%20your%20tissues

[4]https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/10/16/3485#:~:text=The%20authors%20reported%20that%2040,tiredness%20after%20treatment%20and%20dizziness 

[5] https://www.livescience.com/18251-massage-reduce-inflammation-increase-energy.html

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Sabina Gordon
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