In Sports Massage Therapy (SMT), we use a collection of massage techniques which are performed on athletes or active individuals for the purpose of preventing or aiding recovery or treating injury. Basic techniques in SMT are similar to those which are used in other forms of massage; including effleurage, petrissage and deep transverse friction.
Whilst Sport Massage Therapists uses the above traditional massage strokes therapists have been introducing new techniques which work in conjunction with the nervous system for example: Neuromuscular Technique (NMT), Muscular Energy Technique (MET) and Soft Tissue Release (STR).
Sports Massage can also be used to help a patient prepare for an active event, be it 5K running race or a marathon. Pre-event and post-event massage therapies are tailored for distinct purposes.
Pre-event treatment is used as a supplement to an athlete's warm-up to enhance circulation and reduce excess muscle and mental tension prior to competition. It is tailored to the needs of the athlete and his/her event and can be relaxing or stimulating as appropriate.
Post-event massage, on the other hand, is geared towards
reducing the muscle spasms and metabolic build-up that occur with rigorous
exercise. Various sports massage techniques enhance the body's own recovery
process improving the athlete's ability to return to training and competition, and reducing the risk of injury.
Whilst it is not a relaxing massage as it is aimed at getting deep into the muscles, it is evident that post massage the obvious physical benefits are complimented by an increase of mental wellbeing. The key is to use the right massage technique for different patients depending on what their requirements may be. It is an individual experience, rather than a massage which is based on a routine. Our aim as Sport Massage Therapists is to work with the body to achieve the best result for that patient.