Previously we spoke about types of massage, and in this edition as promised I’m going to further discuss when and where a sport massage is appropriate.
Depending on your level of previous sports experience, you may or may not have already experienced the benefits of a pre and post tournament massage. For those that have not, such as those of you who compete at an amateur level, or just purely for fun, I will explain.
Most competitive sports teams have many medical professionals travel with them when they compete and train-doctors, Chiropractors, Nutritionists, Athletic Therapists, and yes, even Massage Therapists. Just like the members of the team, they travel on the team bus and endure early and complicated schedules. Even Racehorses have massage therapists – (Equine Massage-something which I also have extensive training in!).
Some of the eastern martial arts already incorporate massage and bodywork techniques as part of their training- Karate, Jeet Kune Do, Maui Thai etc. (though with Muai Thai massage it involves the vigorous application of spicy-hot oil!) Tui-na (the use of brisk movements of the hand including the knuckles) and lots of stretching.
Now, you are thinking- “My goodness, if Horses can get massages, why shouldn’t I ?”
(at least I hope you are!!)
Unfortunately, the old “I’m a tough guy, tough guys don’t get massages” attitude prohibits people from the possibility of competing at a higher level that the athletes, (and horses!), I previously mentioned do.
Like what? Increased range of motion- meaning possible further strikes, faster reaction time, increased confidence, decreased recovery time.
Definitions: Pre-event massage: Generally a quick, light, invigorating to maximize blood flow. It may or may not involve some stretching provided by the therapist. This also can help with your pre- event jitters, relaxing and centering you, giving you a confident edge over your opponent.
Post-event massage: Important to have promptly after your event, especially if you have sustained any injuries. Massage helps with removal of waste products, aiding your systems in flushing out metabolites, and avoiding complications from bruising such as “myositis ossificans”- (the calcification of the blood within a muscle or to a bone. The more severe the contusion, the greater risk this has of forming.) Also at that time other old injuries that becoming irritated can be attended to. The therapist may also suggest a visit to the appropriate medical professional, should the injury suggest further investigation that is outside of the massage scope of practice.
So, if you think you might want to keep up with the other racehorses, book your massage Today!
Jennifer J. Lamore, BAA, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist Toronto & Missisauga, Ontario