Sports massage is a form of massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue to benefit a person usually 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.
A sports massage has many benefits for an athlete, or anyone doing regular exercise. It can:
- relax your muscles
- fight fatigue
- relieve any swelling you have around your joints
- boost circulation and the immune system so that the body heals more quickly
- improve your flexibility and body strength
- reduce your heart rate and blood pressure
- increase your circulation and lymph flow
- make it easier for you to recover more quickly after you’ve done strenuous exercise
- make it less likely you’ll get more injuries by getting rid of the tension in the muscle
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