If you’re a sporty person, it’s likely you’ve experienced, or at least heard of, sports massage. It’s been around for decades, and is a technique that athletes at all levels can benefit from.

Typically, sports massage is usually associated with post-event recovery, such as after running a marathon or taking part in a football match. And while it certainly is a great tool to help speed up recovery after a period of intense activity, that’s definitely not all it’s useful for. In this blog we explore some of the other ways sports massage can be used to promote physical and mental wellbeing.

Functional Massage

As the name implies, sports massage was originally developed to help sportspeople maintain optimum muscle health while training and competing. However, these days its scope goes well beyond sports, and many people find that the techniques and methods used in sports massage are massively beneficial in all areas of life such as cleaning, cooking or gardening. On the surface, these everyday activities might not seem as intense as a marathon or football match, but the truth is that many of us put more strain on our bodies than we realise. Having a trained sports massage therapist work with your body can be extremely helpful, and it helps ensure we can function on an everyday level and maintain optimum muscle health even as we age.

Pre-Event Massage

Sports massage is considered an essential part of recovery after an intense period of exercise. But any athlete knows that how you prepare for an event drastically affects performance and recovery, and sports massage pre-event is an important ritual for many athletes. And it’s not just for the top echelons of sportspeople either, if you are preparing to undertake any significant physical challenge, it’s wise to consult a sports massage therapist beforehand. Not only can they perform massage techniques on you to help prepare the body for the upcoming exercise, but they can also offer advice and guidance on steps you can take yourself to care for your body in the run up to your event. If you need proof of how important pre-event massage is, Billingshurst FC are a great example, they worked with our sports massage therapist, Emma, in the run up to their FA Cup bid earlier this year to make sure they were on top form.

Maintenance Massage

Similar to having regular massages to manage stress, attending sports massage on a routine basis can help you maintain optimum health at all times, whether you’re preparing for a major sporting event, or just doing routine training. Not only is it a good way to keep your muscles in top form and ready for action if you do decide to compete or take on a bigger challenge, but it’s also a good way to monitor your overall health. Your sports massage therapist may notice changes to your body that you haven’t spotted, or you may notice twinges during a massage that aren’t typical for you. The simple act of connecting with your body through a treatment such as sports massage is a key aspect of keeping on top of health and wellbeing and that’s true whether you’re an athlete or not.