Sports massage is an activity that can help relieve muscle tension, reduce stress and arouse a sense of calm. The use of massage as a therapy has been known since 4,000 years ago in Chinese medical literature, and until now continues to be used as an important part of traditional medicine. There are more than 100 variations of different massage techniques that can be performed for each different purpose. In practice, massage is generally done by pressing the body in certain areas, such as muscles and soft tissue with certain techniques. Massage should not be done by random people, so it must be done by experts in their fields, such as massage therapists. People who do not know the massage technique correctly, will just carelessly do emphasis on areas of the body, of course, this can worsen the existing conditions. That’s why an athlete hires a sports massage therapist often instead of letting random people mess with their muscles.
When an athlete wants to receive a message, the therapist will usually ask for the symptoms felt and the medical history of the client. The next step is to discuss the results as desired by the client from the massage that will be done. Massage sessions can usually last 15 to 90 minutes, depending on how the client’s condition. When doing massage, clients are usually asked to lie down and relax. The use of aromatherapy and gentle musical accompaniment is also often used to increase the client’s level of relaxation. Massage is done with the help of lotions or oils to avoid excessive friction between the hands of the therapist and the client’s skin.
In developed countries, massage therapist services are very commonly used by athletes. However, in some developing countries, the use of massage therapist services is not as much as in developed countries. Many people claim that sports massage before a match can improve the achievements of athletes. Sports massage is also believed to improve performance. Various studies were conducted to prove this and the results of the research were also varied. Most experts agree that sports massage improves athlete performances. It also helps them to recover faster after they suffer from their injuries.
Whether we realize it or not, massage can actually have an effect on the cardiovascular system. The massage process can widen blood vessels so as to increase blood circulation and the distribution of nutrients to various body tissues. Improved blood circulation can help relieve muscle tension, reduce pain and help recover faster. Relaxed muscles can experience an increased range of motion and flexibility, which can lead to better athletic performance.