Massage Therapy for Sports Injury
Golfers injure their backs, shoulders and hips more than anything else while playing. Muscles tear during exertion, and then they go into a recovery and rebuilding phase. Massage helps dilate blood vessels and stretches them, allowing nutrients to pass through more freely, helping the athlete heal.
Massage therapy helps keep the body in better condition, helps prevent future injuries and helps keep muscles flexible, but still strong. Massage therapy is felt to help boost performance and extend the longevity of an athlete's career, helping him play a sport longer.
There are many different types of massage therapy. Some of the more popular ones are deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, Swedish massage and even reflexology, which involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that correspond to other parts of the body. Unlike those previously mentioned, massage therapy for sports is one not specifically designed for relaxation or stress reducing. However, it's generally a combination of other massages, such as part Swedish massage, but with faster strokes and with lots of stretching.
Massage therapy has both physical and mental aspects. Physically, it reduces pain and tension in the muscles, since massage therapists know it releases endorphins in the body. The muscles also relax, becoming loose from the warmth and heat generated from the rubbing. Mentally, it can and probably does reduce stress and anxiety some, helping the athlete stay more focused on her goals.
It's a misconception that to need massage therapy for a sports injury, or for sports in general, you have to be a professional athlete. Obviously, this is not true. While many out there exercise for their own health and benefit, massage therapy is not just for a boxer or a sprinter. It's for anyone physically exerting herself. You want to be true to your body, treat it like a temple, and massage therapy can be for you, too.