About sports massage
Sports Massage is a form of Deep Tissue Massage that draws on techniques from Swedish massage. Sports Massages are notoriously painful, however it is a strangely pleasant pain. Sports massages are not always painful, to some degree the pain lets you know which muscles you use the most, as they are typically the ones that are most… sensitive. Sports massage is not your typical spa day style of massage, it is not a massage that is designed to relax you. This being said one of the aims is to help muscles relax, it’s paradoxical I know. There is a clue in the style of massage of what you can expect, being a deep tissue massage we aim to massage your muscles so they relax and ‘give way’, allowing your therapist to massage, relax and promote the healing of deeper muscles. This is done by the choice of technique, the massages will typically start with lighter pressure causing the superficial muscles and fibres to relax making the deeper techniques more effective.
Aims of sports massage
Sports massage aims to increase the healing and recovery, in part through increasing local blood flow. The most obvious way to see this happening is the redness caused by ‘Hyperaemia’, being the increase in blood flow to the superficial blood vessels. We want this increase in blood flow, this will come with an increase in nutritional supply to the local muscles. So when you get damaged muscles, massage will promote the healing through an increase in local blood supply.
A sports massage can leave you with red dots in specific areas for days following the massage itself. You will find that in your least flexible muscles, these red dots will be most concentrated. My argument for this is, when you don’t move, your body sticks the layers of itself to itself, making you very good at not moving. The longer this goes on for, the more connections the layers of your body can make, and the stronger they become. Gradually they become harder and harder to breakdown or ‘melt’ away. A deep tissue massage, being deep, will break down these connections and the result is a superficial rash like area. This is perfectly normal and is just a sign of the breakdown of the connective fibres that prevent movement.
Sports massages are not always painful
Sports massages promote healing
Sports massages may leave you with red dots in the areas massaged for a few days