Massage Therapy Schools: Learning Sports Massage

Sports massage therapists get to work with professional sports teams, many of which retain a full time therapist who is on call and ready to get their players back in the game. Massage therapists graduating from an accredited massage therapy school have many opportunities to get into a niche field within their industry. With the right preparation and training, massage therapists can go on to earn a lucrative income in the field of sports medicine and other sport injury related therapies.

Although there has been debate in the medical community, massage therapy schools, sports teams, and experts in the industry say that massage therapy for sports players and after sports related injuries can help players get back to the game faster than they would without therapy at all. (This explains why so many teams hire a full-time masseuse.)

According to Massage Magazine, there is some science behind the results:

“In my own experience,” said Keith Grant, head of Sports and Deep Tissue Massage Department at McKinnon Institute, “I’ve seen that massage is effective. How our body reacts to things depends on both the state our body is in (state of memory), as well as the input.” Grant combines his knowledge as a scientist with personal experience as a massage instructor and runner to support his conclusions.

Pointing to a study by Tiitus and Shoemaker (1995) in which effleurage did not increase local blood flow, Grant said, “This is a mechanistic way of looking at what’s going on.” The difficulty, he noted, in interpreting research results comes from looking for direct, mechanical effects. “Clinically, we see a different story,” he said. “Through our techniques we work with the nervous system to relax muscles, but that’s not a direct mechanical effect. “I believe the effects of massage also involve the neurological and emotional. My reason for that is the neurological side controls the current (base) state of the muscle activation. The emotional controls the chemical messengers that affect the immune system. What seems likely is massage acts as a new input to a system with a memory. Massage stimulates the mechanoreceptors and can gate off pain receptors. It floods the body with new sensory input. We are using the nervous system to reset the muscle to greater relaxation.

“In my observation, fatigued muscles tend to remain hypertonic and shortened. When we cajole specific muscles to relax and lengthen via mechanical and neurological input, we reduce their metabolic activity. When the muscle relaxes, it’s not using energy as much, not metabolizing as fast, not producing waste products and because it’s more relaxed, it’s not compressed and not exerting pressure on surrounding tissues. This means circulation is better. It’s not because we’re pushing fluid around. It’s because we’ve put the body in a more optimum state, so the body naturally increases circulation on its own.”

Read more from Massage Magazine

More reading on sports massage therapy:

Sports Massage

How to Get Involved in Professional Sports — American Massage …

Sports Massage – When To Get A Sports Massage