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Techniques behind Sports Massage
Massage is defined as the mechanical manipulation of tissue with rhythmical techniques, changing pressure, increasing health and well-being. There are five main massage strokes.
Effleurage stimulates the parasympathetic system which encourages the body to relax. It is a continuous gliding motion over the skin, which runs in the direction of lymph and venous flow. Depending on the speed and rhythm of the stroke, it can help relax or warm you up, stretch muscle fascia and assist circulation as well as drainage.
Petrissage goes deeper than effleurage and mobilises muscle tissue and the subcutaneous tissue. This stroke helps venous return improve more than effleurage, and increases local circulation. It is often seen as ‘kneading’ the skin.
Tapotement is a striking action that is repeated very quickly. It is a technique from Swedish massage. The techniques main function is to stimulate the sympathetic system, which causes adrenaline (epinephrine) to be released, encouraging the fight or flight response. This stroke is perfect for just before events.
Vibrations also seen as shaking, can be used both pre and post event. Prior to an event it can be used to target a specific muscle group, increasing its blood flow. Post event when the movements are slowed, the technique can influence the parasympathetic system, which releases chemicals blocking hormones such as epinephrine being released. This then helps soothe and calm the body.
Compressions are another massage technique. It is designed for being used on latent trigger points. These trigger points come about from poor posture and overuse, through to stress or trauma. Compressions work on the basis of the stretch reflex system with golgi tendons. When a compression has been applied it washes out the waste products and decreases tension.
In a massage session with me I could use two strokes or all five, depending on what you want from a massage, but also what I feel is right for you! So why not book a session with myself? I can help pump you up for your next event, or wind yourself down and help you relax after a long day.