Massage is recorded as one of the earliest forms of physical therapy and was used over 3000 years ago in China, India and Greece. Its popular use in the Western world is largely due to the work of Per Henrik Ling (1776 – 1839), who developed the form of massage now known as Swedish massage.
Sports massage was developed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. Sports massage emphasizes prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons. Don’t ever confuse sensual or erotic massage with sport massage as it focuses on different parts of the body.
What is Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a form of massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue to benefit a person engaged in regular physical activity. Soft tissue is connective tissue that has not hardened into bone and cartilage; it includes skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia (a form of connective tissue that lines and ensheathes the other soft tissues). Sports massage is designed to assist in correcting problems and imbalances in soft tissue that are caused from repetitive and strenuous physical activity and trauma. The application of sports massage, prior to and after exercise, may enhance performance, aid recovery and prevent injury.
What happens during Sports Massage?
Four types of Sports Massages:
1. Pre-event: a short, stimulating massage 15-45 minutes before the event. It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion.
2. Post-event: given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body’s tissues.
3. Restorative: given during training to allow the athelete to train harder and with less injury.
4. Rehabilitative: aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.
Where to find Sports Massage in Cape Town?
Try the Sports Science Institute in Newlands.