Effective massage therapies for athletes

hijama cupping

Massage therapies are becoming a more popular option overall, for people from all walks of life and all physical ability levels. From stressful office desk jobs that cause your shoulders to hunch, to active and demanding physical jobs, massage therapy is not restricted to sports players and athletes. While this is great news for the general population, it can make choosing the right type of massage therapy more difficult for athletes, as there are more options now than ever before.  So what are the effective massage therapies for athletes? And which option should you choose?

What are the most effective massage therapies for athletes?

With a wide range of massage therapies to choose from, it can be a challenge to choose the right option for your specific requirement. As an athlete, it’s likely that you will want to choose a massage therapy that can help improve healing and recovery after training or injury, improve flexibility and range of motion, and reduce muscle tension. With these goals in mind, there are a number of effective options to choose from. These include:

  • Cupping and fire cupping
  • Sports massage
  • Graston/IASTM

Benefits of cupping and fire cupping for athletes

Cupping therapy is a traditional practice that has been practised across Asia for thousands of years. In recent years, this type of massage therapy has gained significant popularity among athletes, with Olympic competitors often choosing this therapy option. This is a technique that involves placing cups on the skin and creating a vacuum to suction the skin upwards. This movement increases localised blood flow, loosens the muscles, and releases toxins. All of this is important for healing soft tissue and aiding in your recovery process. 

Fire cupping is very similar to traditional cupping therapy but this involves briefly heating the inside of the cup before placing it on the skin to create a vacuum. The addition of heat can bring further benefits for any athlete, as this can be highly effective for reducing inflammation, boosting circulation and in general, allowing you to recover more quickly and return to training sooner.

Choosing sports massage as an athlete

One of the most well known massage therapy options for any athlete is the sports massage. This is a specific type of massage therapy that is focused on treating soft tissue injuries and improving athletic performance overall. As a result, this type of massage therapy involves a combination of deep tissue massage, stretching, and joint mobilisation to target specific areas of tension and dysfunction. This can be highly beneficial for reducing muscle stiffness, increasing range of motion, and enhancing muscle recovery. Sports massage therapy for athletes also brig the advantages of preventing future injuries by addressing areas of tension or weakness, and working to heal or strengthen these areas.

Graston/IASTM for athletes

Graston Technique and Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) are specialised forms of manual therapy that focus on treating soft tissue injuries and dysfunction specifically. For athletes, this can be a very effective choice. Both of these techniques use specially designed instruments (Graston Technique uses stainless steel instruments, while IASTM makes use of a broader range of tools) to apply targeted pressure and friction to the skin, helping to break up scar tissue, adhesions, and fascial restrictions. As a result, these techniques can be very beneficial for athletes in particular, as they can treat conditions like muscle strains and tendonitis. In addition, these techniques also break up adhesions and scar tissue within the soft tissue, which allows a normal range of motion to be restored, and can help improve your flexibility. 

For professional massage therapies for athletes, choose Core Holistic. We are Preston’s leading experts, and we have the skills, experience and expertise to deliver exceptional results. Why not get in touch today?