Professional athletes and their coaches have sworn by massage therapy for years, going so far as to keep massage therapists on the payroll indefinitely. Until recently, there hasn’t been conclusive evidence that massage really does have a positive effect on athletes. However, thanks to new studies and some backing by reputable sources, the benefits of massage are being taken seriously. And those benefits are not just for the pros. They’re extended to anyone who participates in a regular exercise program.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage acts to improve performance, reduce pain, prevent injury, encourage focus and shorten recovery time. It basically involves two types of responses: a mechanical response as a result of the pressure and movement and a reflex response where the nerves respond to stimulation of a massage.
A sports massage often involves a fast-paced massage, stretching and other approaches, depending upon the sport in which you participate. It can be tailored to be used as a pre-workout stretch and opportunity to warm up the muscles or used as a post-workout massage designed to reduce soreness and increase flexibility. Lead instructor at Delta College and licensed massage therapist Craig Simon uses different techniques for pre-event massage, intermediate massage (massage during the event that day) and post-event massage to get the muscles warmed up, stretched out, and spasm-free or for relaxation.re and movement and a reflex response where the nerves respond to the stimulation of a massage.