With so much attention being paid to the achievement of total wellness, the prominence of sports massage has quickly risen among recreational to elite athletes. However sports massage is not a new phenomenon as it has been around since the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans who combined massage and exercise in their training regimes. Even Asian martial art practitioners and dancers experimented with various forms of bodywork to improve their performance. Yet, it became recognized globally when Soviet Union sports teams travelled with sports massage therapists to compete internationally and began to dominate certain sports. This inspired more serious interest in Europe and the USA in the 1970’s. Since then it has continued to blossom into a serious type of massage officially recognized by massage associations and awarding bodies.
SPORTS MASSAGE TODAY
Bodywork designed especially to improve athletic performance, as well as prevent injures and soothe tired muscles, is now considered a normal part of a fitness related training programme. It is no longer only professionals who utilize the service of a trained sports massage specialist, it is everyday people who consider fitness an essential component of their wellness goals. As a result, demand for qualified sports massage therapists is on a steep rise.
So what is fueling all of this strong interest in sports massage?
BENEFITS OF SPORTS MASSAGE
- Release muscle tension: Regular massage optimizes tissue pliability which can reduce injuries and greatly enhances mobility.
- Reduce pain: Sports massage can certainly ease the discomfort caused by an injury. If serious, it can shorten the recovery period when combined with physiotherapy. Research has revealed that this is particularly true for lower back and shoulder pain.
- Support good posture: Except for professional athletes, the average person has to pay for their fitness addiction and this often means long hours working at a desk job. This can affect our posture by shortening our muscles and pulling our joints. Over time this can reduce function and increase chances of over-use and repetitive strain injuries.
- Accelerate after training recovery: By increasing circulation to the area being massaged, toxins that were built up during exercise are flushed out . Even a 30 to 60 minute sports massage will thus have you back training much more quickly.
- Harmonizes the brain with the body: Both successful athletes and average exercise enthusiast also have to be psychologically fit. Massage is well suited to ensuring your mental wellbeing is as powerful as your body strength.
You may be asking yourself if massage is the only way to prevent and treat sports related injuries. Indeed there are many other techniques and tools to assist a client. They are as fun to deliver as they are welcoming to receive.
The application of even the best sports massage can some times not be enough to solve the problem. Fortunately there are numerous ways to supplement fundamental massage techniques.
1) Hot and Cold Stones
The addition of stones can have amazing benefits. While the hot stones melt away tension to allow for a more deep massage, the cold stones reduce swelling and information. The hot stones also increase the flow of new blood and oxygen into the affected area which facilitates quicker healing and strong relief of chronic pain.
Although massage may have ancient roots, modern technology has brought sports related therapists an array of devices to support athletic performance and speed up recovery for overworked muscles. If properly trained on how to use them, they can have a tremendous impact on clients. Let’s look at some of the most popular ones.
2) The G5
This useful tool is a gyratory massager which is designed to stimulate deep blood flow. It can be used on areas that may be too tender or painful for a deep manual massage. It also helps speed up endorphin release, thus helping people to feel great too.
And you don’t have to indulge in fitness activities to appreciate its power. Some customers sign up for regular treatments with the G5 as it breaks down fatty deposits, cellulite and disperses this through lymphatic drainage. It can breakdown stubborn fat in the thighs, bottom and stomach to reduce the appearance of cellulite thus making your valued clients feel slimmer, and more toned and supple. A great way to expand the number of loyal customers!
3) Audio Sonic
Similar to the G5, this is a hand-held electrical massage treatment which is only suitable for treatment on localised areas such as tension modules in the shoulders. The sound waves generated by the machine vibrate through the skin’s cells and tissues, and travel approximately 5cm into the skin without causing damage. The sound waves cause the nodules to be shaken, therefore causing compression and decompression of the soft tissues. During compression the cells press together which moves tissue fluid. During decompression of the tissues, fresh blood circulates to allow for fresh oxygen and nutrients. As no friction occurs, it is an ideal treatment for sensitive areas or hypersensitive skin.
4) Infra-red Light Therapy
Infrared rays are able to heat our body through a process called conversion. During conversion, heat from an infrared lamp can penetrate the body without heating the air between the lamp and the body. This nontraditional way of heating the body has been used for decades to allow heat to penetrate into the organs to alleviate pain and promote the natural healing processes.
Infrared Therapy Lamp is a safe and practical solution for those who want to reduce localized pain problems. This is why many medical practitioners now use it and you can too! Clients with any small painful spots will love its deep-penetrating heat.
MAKE SPORTS MASSAGE & COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES YOUR CAREER
This is so much easier than you might envision! You can learn it all in Bali with a 10 day course at the Bali International Spa Academy (BISA). The course details can be found here.
If you are not certified in anatomy and physiology which is a prerequisite, you can also become accredited in five days at BISA.
There are occasional special offers such as this one.
In Indonesian, ‘bisa’ means can and you can easily do it while enjoying all that the ‘Island of the Gods’ is so famous for.