Updated: Mar 8
Massage therapy has become a popular choice for amateur and professional athletes due to the increased presence in health clubs and spa menus. And though it’s often seen as a painful procedure, many individuals who engage in sports still choose to have it as it is reported to enhance physical performance during sporting events.
But is there any basis for this claim? Can sports massage affect the way an athlete plays on the field or inside the court? Learn more as we are going to tackle the efficacy of athletes massage for better performance in sports in this fitness guide.
More Than Just A Treatment For Injuries
Massage has long been utilized to help the muscles recover after physical activity and as a treatment for musculo-skeletal injuries.
But in recent years, physical therapists who are experts in the field of sports medicine have been using this type of treatment to aid an athlete’s recovery during clinical rehabilitation.
And it was noticed that those athletes who have undergone sports massage not only managed to recover physically but it also helps them to be psychologically prepared as well – which then allowed them to perform better during competitions.
How Can Sports Massage Help An Athlete To Perform Better Through Psychological Preparedness?
The main purpose of massage therapy is to help the physical body rehabilitate after an intense exercise. But in certain disciplines, massage is also a preferred treatment for relaxation and to help the mind release stress. So based on these facts, sports massage can also promote psychological preparedness.
Here are some ways that sports massage can encourage psychological preparedness and help them perform better during games:
1. Better Blood Circulation – Sports massage is defined as a vigorous kind of massage to help prepare an athlete using a variety of methods including stretching, joint mobilization, post isometric relaxation, pressure-point massage, and cross-fiber friction. And through these exercises, the circulation of blood in the body is improved.
2. Relaxing As A Way To Prevent Injuries – Theoretically speaking, a player who is experiencing “jitters” or pre-game stress has a higher risk of sustaining injuries due to psychosomatic causes. Likewise, it may also cause them to have a sub-par performance as well.
Athletes massage allows a player to “loosen up” and be relieved from the pressure so they will feel and relaxed before tip-off and prevent them from getting injured.
3. Better Mood And Anxiety Management – Massage treatment in general has been found out to lower cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the brain which can then improve mood and decrease anxiety levels. So it also follows that athletes who have undergone massage treatment intervention will have better focus during the games as their mind and mood are both in check.
Overall, athletes massage not only helps the body recuperate but it also heals the mind at the same time. And as a result, athletes who have utilized this treatment will now be able to perform better as they are both physically and mentally prepared to handle the intensity and pressure during games.