Sports massage is a form of massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue to benefit a person engaged in regular physical activity. Soft tissue is connective tissue that has not hardened into bone and cartilage; it includes skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia (a form of connective tissue that lines and encapsulates other soft tissues). Sports massage is designed to assist in correcting problems and imbalances in soft tissue that are caused from repetitive and strenuous physical activity and trauma. The application of sports massage, prior to and after exercise, may enhance performance, aid recovery and prevent injury.
What’s the difference – Sports Massage vs Deep Tissue Massage
What you may feel can be similar but the main difference is the practitioner. Therapists trained in Sports Massage have a wider understanding of human anatomy and physiology as well as being able to perform a wide range of techniques. They may perform a postural assessment in the session to help target the areas of issue.
What to expect
Unlike a full body massage, it is likely that the therapist will focus on specific areas of the body once an assessment has been carried out prior to the treatment. An assessment will include a range of exercises that will allow your therapist to observe your posture & symmetry, flexibility and mobility of the muscles and joints along with your range of movements through passive and active movements.
Your body will undergo deep pressure during a sports massage, and while it’s likely you will feel a bit sore for a few days, you may also feel cold, thirsty and a faint as your body works to metabolize the waste products removed from the soft tissue. Drinking plenty of water and taking a warm bath will aid this process. Those suffering from any viral infection are advised not to receive a sports massage whilst ill. A sports massage will stimulate the circulation and lymphatic system and can cause the virus to spread in the body.
What to bring
Ideally some loose fitting clothing or something you are happy to dress down to. The rest comes down to relaxing and getting the best out of the experience. If you have any information from a clinician regarding your visit please bring it with you.