What is the difference between sports massage and deep tissue
Posted on 25th September 2021 at 11:10
Sports massage makes use of pretty much all the techniques used....
Sports massage makes use of pretty much all the techniques used in a deep tissue massage session, the main exception being that it is a more targeted and specific treatment, to muscles (and surrounding areas) where the patient/client may feel some restriction or discomfort.
It’s a common misconception that sports massage is a performance enhancing therapy, and corrects muscle imbalances (that is achieved with corrective exercise) it’s not backed up by any studies that I am aware of, although there are some small studies that have shown that sports massage significantly reduced DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Read it here for more detail:
Any type of treatment that leaves you feeling good can indirectly have a beneficial outcome of improving your performances, this may be called ‘placebo’ but the mind is a powerful tool and is the key to improvement in all aspects of life regardless of activities and sports you are involved in (running, lifting, swimming, cycling etc)
So essentially sports massage can be viewed as a part of athletic recovery, as well as a great way to help you feel better and more relaxed (post treatment) in mind as well as body, which is beneficial to both athletes and non athletes, and indirectly this will be a contributing factor to better physical performance and movement, but not a direct influence on athletic and sports performance, something which I believe is solely down to the mental and physical preparation of the athlete, in readiness for the day of competition.
Deep tissue massage encompasses similar attributes to a sports massage but usually it is more general in nature, meaning that it can involve considerable intensity across the whole body, but is not usually as targeted and specific in nature as a sports massage treatment is, but this is also related to the individual skills and experience of the therapist, which also applies to sports massage therapy as well.
In my treatment room, and as a result of spending thousands of hours doing hands on therapy over the last decade and more, I find that my work is a blend of both, I can work very specifically on areas where you feel there is some restriction, but I also find that firm controlled pressure moving over large areas of muscle and fascia is very beneficial for you as well, and when focussed on your back muscles, it leaves you feeling great afterwards!
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