Soft tissue therapy and massage has been used for centuries to heal, invigorate and relax the mind and body. In order for our bodies to work efficiently, many complex systems have to work together in a co-ordinated way. Soft tissue therapy can help each of these systems to work optimally, boosting general health and well being. Soft tissue therapy is primarily concerned with muscular and skeletal alignment, how exercise affects the body’s systems and how massage can promote or reduce these effects for the benefit of the exerciser.
During and after exercise, the body’s systems adapt to cope with the increased stresses placed upon them. In the right amount and frequency, regular exercise (or training) enables the body to deal with higher levels of work and exercise at greater intensities for longer. The application of soft tissue therapy or sports massage during this training phase gives the athlete a number of benefits including the release of muscle tension, improved drainage of waste products and improved posture and flexibility. The therapist can also spot any potential problems caused by the stresses of training and work with the athlete and coach to remedy muscular imbalances, poor training technique or minor injuries. These benefits will enable the athlete to train more frequently and achieve a higher level of fitness and ability before participating in any competitions.
In the run up to an event, massage can be used to help reduce stress. High levels of stress can have a negative effect on sporting performance by increasing muscle tone (tightness) and producing hormone imbalances. Massage can relax the muscles and calm the nervous system in the days before an event. Soft Tissue Therapy can help the athlete with their final preparations by increasing flexibility and range of motion around joints, improving circulation and ironing out any last minute niggles. It can also help with improved sleep and a general feeling of well being. Very important before a big event.