By: Robert Vignoli
Over the past ten years it has become more common to find massage therapists treating athletes using massage therapy. The therapeutic advantage of massage not only eases the pain in sore muscles, but actually strengthens an athlete prior to a game or event. It is not uncommon for professional athletes to have their own personal massage therapist.
There are many different massage therapy techniques used to treat athletes. Many therapists use deep tissue massage to treat athletes who are injured. Deep tissue massage is often used as relief for injured muscles. In order to perform a deep tissue massage a therapist must use either the fingers, thumbs or even the elbows to get into the grain of the muscles. In order to practice a deep tissue massage, a therapist must be thoroughly trained as if not done properly, it can cause additional pain or injury. this type of massage is very effective as it works beneath the surface muscles and is a popular method for relieving not only injuries, but also chronic pain and even inflammation.
Implementing various different sports massage techniques and stretches to your program will greatly enhance your ability to work with athletes. Deep tissue massage is just one, some of my favorites are cross fiber friction, muscle stripping techniques, active release techniques and PNF stretches. Learn these and watch your business grow.
To prepare an athlete, a massage therapist will concentrate on the muscles most often used. By using various sports massage therapy techniques, the muscles are relaxed. Being tense will make an injury worse. It is the reason why so many drunk drivers walk away from car accidents while those they hit die. It is because the driver was completely relaxed. The muscles were relaxed. It works the same way with an athlete.
An athlete who goes into a game with muscles that are relaxed and toned is in much better condition to avoid greater injury to those muscles if they are tense. This is why so many athletes use the benefits of massage treatments, such as relaxing spa treatments, prior to sporting events.
A good massage therapist can have a thriving practice in the field of sports medicine if he or she is well versed in treating athletes. They must have complete knowledge of the anatomical structure of the human body and need to know which muscles are most prone to strain and injury. They not only need to know how to relieve the pain from injury, but also to prepare an athlete so that he or she does not get a greater injury. Sports massage techniques include both deep tissue massage and a variety of relaxing massages and stretching techniques. While a physical trainer works with an athlete to improve his or her skills on the field, the therapist works with the body of the athlete to prepare the body for the exertion it will soon endure.
Treating athletes using massage therapy is very common and has been practiced for years. Without the massage techniques performed prior to the game, the athlete may not be able to sustain the beatings that some of their bodies take during a sports competition such as football. This is a growing field and very prosperous for a person who is willing to learn the proper techniques.