Holisitic Massage School

Holistic Massage School Shares

Techniques and Benefits of Sports Massage

“At Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HH), we strive to provide students with a well-rounded education”, said Chris Morgan, Staff Instructor at HH.    “Our nationally accredited programs ensure students are given a strong foundation in Anatomy, and access to a variety of massage modalities, advanced techniques, and dozens of complementary holistic health courses.  The Advanced Circulatory and Sports class focuses on the application of passive joint movement, conditioning stretches, and massage techniques designed to enhance athletic performance and speed recovery”, he added.

Most Athletes, Coaches and Trainers agree that Sports Massage gives athletes an extra edge in competition.  As a result, we’re seeing Sports Massage offered at Marathons, Cycling Tours, Triathlons and sports events everywhere, including the 2016 Olympics!  The pre-sports event massage should not last for no more than 10 to 15 minutes, and is best when provided to the athlete between 15 to 45 minutes before the event.  Benefits of the Pre-event Massage include:

  • Increased blood flow to the body (and body part), preparing it for activity.
  • The warming of stiff muscles, tendons & ligaments prior to the event will greatly reduce the potential for injury during the event.
  • Improves range of motion and flexibility making it optimal for the event.
  • Massage, especially quick, light strokes, induce a sense of readiness by exciting the body’s nervous system.

A common ‘recipe’ of massage strokes and techniques for a Pre-event Massage sequence would go as follows:

  1. Passive Joint Movement of arms, shoulder, torso (rocking) and legs to assist the recipient in letting go of muscular control.
  2. Assisted stretches to the arms, hands, legs, back, neck and any other tight areas of the body to encourage maximize range of motion and performance.
  3. Quick light massage strokes to increase circulation and warm muscles.  Strokes include those using the palm, knuckles, fingers, thumbs and forearm…working progressively deeper as the tissue begins to release.
  4. Combination of passive joint movement with assisted stretches
  5. Invigorating tapping with finger tips and jostling (irregular movement) to all pertinent areas of the body.

Many new studies are showing that massage therapy also benefits Athletes after the event, helping their muscles to recover more quickly.  Post-event Massage should be given within an hour or two of the event to reduce the common tightening or cramping of muscles.  Although deeper than a Pre-event Massage, the Post-event Massage should never be painful.  Benefits of post-event massage include:

  • Reducing muscle fatigue when there are repeated bouts of competition.
  • Reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
  • Can help with muscle power and endurance when playing multiple matches.
  • Boosts Neutrophil count, which are white blood cells and key components in our body’s defense against infection.
  • Calms the nervous systems and encourages relaxation.
  • Improves circulation of blood and lymph flow to the massaged area.
  • Increases the Athletes pain threshold after exertion.


A standard Post-event Massage sequence would include the following:


  1. Passive Joint Movement of arms, legs, feet, shoulders, torso, etc., to facilitate relaxation of the Athlete.
  2. Compression of body parts used during the event.
  3. Slow, deeper, longer strokes to increase circulation and facilitate relaxation.
  4. Petrissage (back and forth strokes) to further soften over-worked muscles.
  5. Combination of passive joint movement with long, relaxing strokes.
  6. Invigorating tapping with finger tips.
  7. Finish by rocking and jostling (irregular movement) the body.


Just as important as Pre and Post-event Massages, Maintenance Massages are a must for all competitive Athletes and should be sought regularly between events.  This massage work requires a Massage Therapist to work a little deeper, but all techniques used for Maintenance Massage are therapeutic with benefits that include:


  • Healing injured muscles and body tissues.
  • Speeding muscle recovery from over-use or injury.
  • Increasing range of motion and flexibility.
  • Reducing muscle stiffness and pain.
  • Removing trigger points that refer pain.
  • Reducing scar tissue to improve mobility.

To learn more about Advanced Circulatory and Sports Massage, or any of our other 80+ courses we offer, please visit us on-line at www.HealingHandsSchool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or at (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.