Bodies in motion encounter stress and strain, whether through the rigors of everyday life or elite athletic training and competition. Myofascial massage, often called sports massage or deep tissue massage, engages all layers of muscle, fascia, and connective tissue to alleviate areas of chronic tension and to promote optimal alignment and balance. Imbalances and inefficiency commonly precipitate chronic injury, which can often be effectively treated and prevented through proper stretching and therapeutic manipulation of musculoskeletal tissues. Whether your goal is the empowerment of pain-free daily living or reaching an athletics-inspired dream, myofascial massage is a powerful tool to help you achieve your potential.
Swedish massage is often associated with spas and relaxation, but originated as a method for gymnastics trainers to increase circulation and mobility in their athletes. Most massage sessions draw from many modalities to provide the best possible therapeutic outcome and meet and exceed client expectations. Massage should not cause pain, but an effective therapeutic treatment may involve periods of discomfort for optimal therapeutic outcome within the client's comfort and tolerance. Sara works with every client to design a treatment plan to meet his or her goals and invite a positive therapeutic outcome, creating a session that provides a relaxing, invigorating, rejuvenating massage experience.
Sports massage has been practiced for thousands of years; its rich history of practitioners includes athletes themselves, doctors, coaches, trainers, healers, and even surgeons. Although practiced commonly in Europe and Asia fairly continuously, sports massage has enjoyed a relatively recent renaissance in North America; it was not until the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA that sports massage was included as a core medical offering. Today, professional and elite athletes in virtually all sports commonly seek out sports massage to improve their recovery and performance.
One common misconception is that massage works by improving circulation and flushing out metabolic waste from fatigued muscle tissue. New frontiers in physiology research indicate that while massage does not have an impact on circulation or lactic acid reuptake, its effects are actually more profound; changes at the cellular level document accelerated mitochondrial formation in tissues treated with massage, as well as the presence of hormones that alleviate inflammation, promote healing, and regulate the body’s homeostatic rhythms. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells – improving their repair and function means our bodies are better able to convert the food we eat into the energy we need in order to perform. Science is quickly confirming what athletes have trusted for centuries: massage works.
Sports massage can complement all stages of athletic performance – regular training maintenance, pre-event priming, post-event recovery, and injury treatment. A wide variety of common sports injuries respond favorable to massage, and well-balanced tissues are less susceptible to injury in the first place. Massage is also an excellent tool to identify tissue imbalances and correct these through structural manipulation and therapeutic exercise recommendation.
The pros are already enjoying the benefits of sports massage, but it is every bit as important for weekend warriors, individuals just beginning fitness regimens, and more casual sports participants to maintain the optimal flexibility and tissue recovery which massage promotes. Massage can decrease the severity and duration of delayed-onset muscle soreness, the amateur athlete’s greatest enemy and the single most prevalent reason that people give up on getting fit. Sports massage practitioners are skilled in modifying their techniques to suit any athlete at any age or level of fitness. If you want to know how sports massage can benefit your training and lifestyle, contact us at Greensboro Sports Performance to learn more and schedule your first session.