Massage, sports massage

When you are performing sports on an (almost) daily basis, then muscles will be having a hard time. A proper training schedule in which different groups of muscles are focused on and proper rest periods for the muscles to recover are most important in avoiding overburdening of the muscle tissue. In addition it is wise to give extra attention to relaxation and recovery, such as proper diet, visits to a sauna, but also massage.

How does sports massage work
By using sports massage you create the following effects:
- The hair vessels in the skin and muscles widen to increase blood flow. When muscles have better blood flow they can rid themselves of waste products (such as fluids and lactates) and muscle ache can be (as much as possible) prevented.
- The way waste products are being removed is improved by the external pressure of the massage.
- The muscle tension will be influenced.

There are different techniques for massage, such as rubbing, kneading, knocking and shaking motions. As a rule sports massages should be (to a certain point) comfortable for the athlete. Often a sports masseur uses a medium. The purpose of this medium is to reduce the friction, which means prevention of pain and irritation of skin or hair vessles as much as possible. Sometimes a medium is used that has a pore widening effect on the skin. The use of the medium feels nice and warm, but some people are over sensitive for pore widening products, while the skin can lose much warmth at low temperatures. Besides, the blood should not go to the skin, but to the muscles.

When should you use sports massage?
Massage can be used on fatigued or stiff muscles. It is not the case that sports massage is always comfortable and useful. A sports massage on very stiff muscles can be too hard very quickly, after which the muscles feel more painful and stiff. Sports massage should never be used on a torn muscle, an inflammation, an open wound or when one has a fever.
Sports massage is often performed (the day) after a game or practice session. Muscle waste products such as fluid and lactates can build up in the muscle after an intense workout. This can be limited by performing a proper cool-down. A recovery massage improves the way the muscle rids itself from the waste products, and it will greatly reduce or prevent muscle ache. The body will be recovered much quicker and can take on the next challenge quicker. A recovery massage usually takes approximately 20 minutes. And can very well be combined with a warm bath or a sauna. If the muscles were very extremely burdened, such as during a marathon, it is better to wait a little longer before using a recovery massage. It is much better to let the burdened muscles rest, for instance with an ice massage, preferably 5 times a day, 15 minutes each.

In conclusion: Sports massage increases the recovery, and is very useful for athletes who practice (almost) daily. It should be seen as an addition to a cool-down and other recovery steps.



1 Does a sports masseur different from a physiotherapist?
Certainly. The physiotherapist is much more active for the recovery. The physical therapist speaks of 'patient' and the sports masseur of client. If you have an injury, a torn muscle or whatever, then the physiotherapist tries to heal that as good as possible. Very often using devices. The sports masseur, is working with his hands. The sports masseur is much more proactive and provide first aid on the field with a strained muscles etc. His work is aimed at preventing  injuries. That he is trying to achieve through massage, to bandage and, above all, by advising. He can also be activated to accompany you some time after you have recovered and the doctor has declared cured. The risk of a recurrence of the injury is then reduced.

2 What is sports massage?
In sport is effort. Every effort, however small it may be will generate waste in the body and therefore also in the muscles. Through massage techniques a sports massage therapist is able, with his hands, to disappear waste quicker from the body. The various massage techniques creates a strong increased blood flow. It will then produce optimal conditions that lead to accelerated physical recovery. The waste products are removed from the body. Including lactic acid, which is responsible for muscle soreness and muscle stiffness. The body is then better able to heavier load.

3 What is taping?
A sports massage therapist has learned how to create a support bandage . We call this taping. Taping is most common in the avid, competitive sports. Heavy training often causes some physical discomfort. Regulated rest, or a custom workout, is then the best solution, but competitive athletes often want to minimize time lost. A tape may relieve the injured area, thereby increasing the carrying capacity. The training can still be continued. Thus, a bandage , as it restricts the scope of the joint and the possibilities of a muscle, so the training can still tolerable. A tape may be used by anyone to help in training, after the doctor or physiotherapist has declared the sportsmen cured. The tape should be an extra support, so the risk of recurrence of the injury is significantly reduced.

4 What is the advisory role of the sports masseur?
This is actually the most important thing a sports masseur does. Because the athlete is him on the massage table, he can feel exactly how the body of the athlete has responded to the training. Whether he is doing too much or too little. Whether an injury is to come, or that there still may be trained by the best here. An athlete has with his sports masseur a much closer contact as with his family doctor or trainer. The athlete says he wants to train and the sports masseur can advise him whether he can or can't. Or that he expects then to set injuries. He feels the tension and the shortening of the muscles. As he gains his information about the resilience of the athlete. Especially for the occasional long-distance runners a sports massage therapist is really a must. Someone who can advise to slow down or encourage. Also, the sports masseur can observe musculoskeletal abnormalities. Abnormalities which might lead to injuries later. A difference in leg length, for example.

5 What can I expect when I go to a sports masseur ?
Well, you introduce yourself. And the sports masseur will begin with questions. According to your general health. What sports you do, how many times if you've had injuries etc. It is best to carry sportswear. A T-shirt and shorts that you can keep on during the massage and your running shoes. Then, the sports masseur may express his opinion.

6 I've heard that you were naked on a couch to lie down?
Nonsense. If your legs are massaged, you keep a sport short and if your back is massaged when you are on your stomach. As a rule, only that part of the body is exposed, which is working on. The rest is covered because of the heat loss.

7 Use sports massage therapist an oil as he rubbed on the body?
A sports masseur uses massage oil. This he does, because it is avoided, that hairs are pulled out, which is very painful. Moreover, a massage oil ensures that the frictional resistance is constant. The hands of the masseur thus find anywhere on the body the same resistance. Every sports masseur has different types of massage oil. If someone does not tolerate a specific massage oil, he uses an other one. The massage oil that is used by a sports masseur, is neutral. There is no heat or similar stuff added. Except in special cases for example if he wants to lead a supernormal blood flow.

8 How much does a massage treatment?
It depends on what you leave massage. But let me say: about € 35, - per hour. (Legs ½ hours, full 1 hourl). When an appointment is made the price can be based op the wishes and accurate information.

9 How often should you be massaged, to be continue useful?
Once in two weeks is highly recommended. If possible every week. Arrange an appointment always the day after a heavy workout. Especially after a hard race, a sports masseur can "read" most of the body. He can feel the best, how the body reacted to that burden. Whether the body has been recovered or not. Where any weaknesses are, etc. He can then perform his advisory role at best.

Live Long and Prosper!