How Sports Massage Enhances Athletic Performance – A Holistic Approach

Let me introduce myself, My name is Chris Morgan, I am a Certified Massage Therapist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Personal Trainer, and Instructor here at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (Healing Hands). As the Instructor for Advanced Circulatory and Sports Massage, I want to share something very practical  for competitive athletes, and everyday sports enthusiasts.  According to the National Health Institute, Sports massage helps prepare an athlete for competition, as a tool to enhance athletic performance, to help the athlete recover after events, and as a manual therapy intervention for sports-related musculoskeletal injuries.

In this blog we’ll examine how Sports Massage therapy can increase an Athletes success by providing three stages of therapy.

As a Professional Sports Massage Therapist, you have an opportunity to be both a Cheerleader and a Healer for your client.

Pre-event Sports Massage should last no more than 10-15 minutes and delivered on the day of the event. The Therapists’ aim is to instill confidence, remain positive, and work quickly to support the Athlete’s mental and physical preparedness.  Compression of the muscles is used to increase blood flow and readiness, and brisk Effleurage  warms the muscles.  Two handed kneading, called Petrissage, Cross-fibering and short, fast movements waken joints, and increase circulation while stimulating the nervous system.

Post event Sports Massage.  Administered immediately after the event, a Sports Massage will speed your body’s recovery.  Goals include decreasing lactic acid, reducing swelling , ease tightness  and restore resting muscle length. Long, flowy Effleurage strokes, are  effective in calming the nervous system. Muscle compressions are used to decrease spasming after grueling events.

Massage for Maintenance. While many professional athletes enjoy massage daily, for most athletes its part of their Training Program.  It is usually done on a weekly or biweekly basis to increase blood flow and ensure the flow of nutrients. Sports Massage ensures that muscle tissues, tendons and ligaments remain pliable, so muscles remain strong and act independently. Regular massage also addresses any nerve entrapment or injured tissue.  Done properly, Sports Massage encourages optimal health and resilient healing in the athlete.

Students interested in pursuing a career as a Professional Sports Massage Therapist will gain an excellent understanding of Anatomy and Physiology.  They will also learn about ‘therapeutic stretching’ and strength-building strategies.  Effective communication skills are also developed as they are essential to providing a safe, restorative massage. Fortunately, everything you need to know to become a successful Sports Massage Therapist, you can learn at Healing Hands!

Whether you’re interested in Massage and Holistic Health for personal or professional reasons, we’re confident you’ll find the classes and Programs  at Healing Hands! To learn more,  please visit us on-line at www.hhs.edu  or, call us to arrange a classroom tour.  In Laguna Hills call (949) 305-2722, or call (760) 746-9364 for Escondido, or (858) 505-1100 for Kearny Mesa/San Diego.  ###