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How Massage is Used in Sports

How Massage is Used in Sports

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Published by Julieta Hernandez
How athletes use massage to recovery from injury and prolong their careers.
How athletes use massage to recovery from injury and prolong their careers.

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Published by: Julieta Hernandez on Jul 23, 2013
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11/18/2014

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How Massage Is Used in Sports
 According to Geoffrey C. Goats PhD MCSP from the School of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy in the University of East Anglia, massage is widely seen asa therapeutic art. In fact, extensive studies have already been done to provideevidence-based data about the therapeutic and physiological benefits of massageespecially in sports.
Photo Credit: 
In a study conducted by  Jason Brummitt, MSPT, SCS, ATC atNorth American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, massage is widely considered as a preferredtreatment. The research emphasizes three major functions of massage namely:
 
 To enhance the psychological readiness of an athlete.
 
 To help the body recover from intense competition and exercise.
 
 To facilitate treatment in sports related injuries.
Sports Massage Techniques
In his book entitled ‘
Handbook of Healing Massage Techniques: Classic, Holistic, and  Emerging Methods 
,
Benjamin PJ and Tapan FM define sports massage as a
collectionof massage techniques performed on athletes or active individuals for the purpose of 
aiding recovery or treating pathology.”
In sports medicine, three forms of massage arehighlighted.
 
1) Effleurage Technique
 This type of massage focuses on the length of the muscles. In particular, the strokesfollow a certain sequence. It starts from the distal to the proximal region of themuscles. Most of the time, the strokes are generally light and gentle.
2) Petrissage Technique
Unlike the effleurage technique, petrissage involves a combination of different strokeslike wringing, kneading, and scooping. Depending on the patient, the therapist canapply deep pressure during a petrissage massage.
3) Deep Transverse Friction Massage (DTFM)
 Also commonly known as cross-friction massage, DTFM employs crosswise motionsin order to target a particular muscle in the body.
 Why Athletes Need A Massage?
Massage has long been considered as greatly beneficial most especially in terms of 
improving blood pressure, psychological readiness, and even “perception of recovery.”
Physical and psychological readiness help an athlete prepare for acompetition. This is the reason why many athletes always perform various types of stretching exercises, mental imagery drills, as well as game simulations. Furthermore, arelaxing massage is also useful in reducing anxieties. Most important is the fact that agood massage prepares the muscles for the intense physical activity during thecompetition. Athletes and sports coaches use massage because of the following reasons:
 
Flexibility
 
 – 
Many athletes believe that flexibility is a crucial aspect in sportstraining. The primary reason is that flexibility helps reduce risks of majorinjuries during the competition. Moreover, it also enhances the overallperformance. The School of Applied Sciences in the University of Glamorganin United Kingdom conducted a study that also confirms the positive effects of massage on flexibility.
 
Strength
 
 – 
Athletes can also benefit from a massage especially when it comesto their physical performance. This fact is substantiated by another research, which was conducted by Brooks CP. et.al. at ACT College, Alexandria.

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