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Just What is Sports Massage?

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					Sports massage is a type of massage that was developed specifically to help athletes
get the most out of their bodies, prevent injury, and recover from injury or
overtraining. Sports massage is based on Swedish massage, and uses the same
techniques. The difference is the focus of the massage, and how the techniques are
applied.

Sports massage is usually shorter than most Swedish massage, generally around 20
minutes. There are four types of sports massage:

Pre-event massage – this type of sports massage focuses on parts of the athlete’s body
that will be most important in the sporting event. For tennis players, the focus is on
the arms and shoulders; for runners, the legs; etc. Pre-event sports massage loosens
any tension or knots that might interfere with the athlete's movement, and increases
circulation so the muscles get enough oxygen.

Post-event massage – after the event is over, this type of sports massage helps restore
the body's normal balance. It relaxes the muscles and prevents the athlete from getting
stiff.

Restorative sports massage or sports massage during training – this type of massage is
used when athletes are doing intense training. It helps reduce the chance of injury and
lets the athlete train harder

Rehabilitative sports massage – with the best of precautions, injury happens in sports.
This type of sports massage is similar to medical massage, and is used to speed
healing of muscle and tendon injuries and restore full range of motion so the athlete
can get back in the game faster.



Many professional sports teams have a massage therapist specializing in sports
massage on staff to keep the team fit and ready to play. Recently, some spas have
started offering sports massage, making this specialized massage available for
amateur athletes, and other people who do a lot of physical activity.

				
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