Despite there not being a substantial body of scientific evidence to support the use of massage in the active recovery period for athletes, massage has long been in use to aid recovery within sport.
The main effects are:-
- To reduce fatigue from training to enable the individual to start back training or competition feeling refreshed.
- To reduce muscle soreness from training or competition by reducing muscle tension and enhancing circulation.
- Helping to prevent strains to soft tissue by identifying and treating soft tissue under tension which, if left untreated, may lead to an over use injury.
There is evidence of massage leading to improved mood and feelings of well-being which boost both psychological and physical relaxation.
Massage calms the nervous system and allows the body to self-heal.
Remedial Massage is a specific branch of Body-Work Therapy which aims to identify imbalances within both the skeletal system such as uneven shoulders, leg length discrepancies and also unusual patterns of tone and texture within the body’s soft tissue.
An experienced Remedial Massage Therapist will observe, palpate and sense imbalances within the body and will use a number of Remedial Massage approaches such as myofascial techniques, active release techniques, deep-tissue massage, joint mobilisation and stretches to help normalise muscle tone and achieve balance within the body.
Remedial Massage can lead to a temporary deficit in performance in the days following (2-3 days on average) especially for those unaccustomed to the techniques. This is largely due to the effect of releasing soft tissue (muscle, ligament, tendon and connective tissue) adhesions. The individual is likely to feel tender in the days post treatment but will usually experience improved range of movement and less pain associated with the release of restricted tissue.
Similar to the process of adaptation to the training effect, the first few remedial massages are likely to be the most uncomfortable with sessions thereafter being much better tolerated and enjoyable.