Benefits of Pre and Post Event Massage
We all know by now that Sports Massage has a variety of benefits, used as a preventative tool, for conditioning, and rehabilitation too.
Pre event massage can help to prepare an athlete in the last stages (usually up to 2 hours) before high intensity activity, but can be effective in the 48 hour lead up. Without the exertion of energy required, massage can take its place to help loosen and warm up muscles and ensure the body is functioning freely. Knowing the activity of the athlete enables the therapist to stretch and stimulate the correct muscle groups to be used. It can aid mental preparation and improve clarity and focus of the athlete who often include it as part of their pre event ritual. It does not replace conventional warming up of the muscles, but compliments it.
Ideal techniques to use would be effleurage, petrissage at an upbeat tempo, tapotement, soft tissue release and muscle energy techniques. As many athletes would not want oil or lotion on their skin just before an event, STR (Soft Tissue Release) and METs (Muscle Energy Techniques) are a valuable aid for releasing and warming up tissue as they can be executed through clothing, without the need of lubrication. Tapotement can be used on bare skin without lubrication, as well as through clothing if required. As the athlete prepares for exercise, soothing techniques that induce relaxation or frictions should be avoided. The treatment should be non-invasive and non-aggravating. The therapist would not be looking correct any dysfunctions, or increase any range of movements dramatically in case it affects performance negatively, just increase circulation and heat in the muscles for 10 – 20 minutes only.
Post event massage can aid and accelerate recovery after an event by removing waste products such as lactic acid, preventing Delayed Onset Muscle Syndrome (DOMS) and stretching the tissues. Massage will help reduce muscle soreness, muscle fatigue and the likelihood of injury occurring or reoccurring as well as increasing the nutrient supply to the muscles which in turn enables training to be undertaken sooner. Post event massage need not be stimulating like pre event massage, so slower tempoed strokes are used, also helping to induce relaxation and calm in the athletes mind set as well as their muscles. For this reason, effleurage is most commonly used, and techniques such as STR and MET’s if used, are gentle and quick. If performed correctly for a good duration, post event massage can be used to replace a conventional cool down.
Please contact me for more information or for availability to attend an event.