Sports Massage is a general term for massage therapies that focus on treatments for athletes and martial arts fighters.
This type of massage is given to speedup recovery after a performance, to maintain physical capacities and stimulate performance, or to warm up before a performance to reduce risks of injury.
Sports Massage tends to reduce the heart rate and blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymphatic flow, promotes wound healing, reduces muscle tensions, improves flexibility, and alleviates general pains.
Although Sports Massage has become increasingly popular in the last decades, it’s in itself not a new massage treatment modality. The ancient Greeks and Romans already used a combination of massage and exercise in their athletic trainings, and in Asia it has been commonly applied for dancers and for martial arts warriors for hundreds and in some cases for thousands of years.
Typically, the exact sort of massage given is adapted to the type of activity i.e. sport, because each individual activity uses certain parts or muscles of the body more than others, that is, one can imagine that a soccer player would need another type of treatment compared to a Thai boxer.
Although it’s common in Western countries to apply Classic Massage (Swedish Massage) adaptions as a form of Sports Massage, it very much depends on the country or culture what massage modality is used; that can be anything like, for instance, Thai Massage, Tuina or Lomi Lomi Massage, just to give some random examples.