Massage is a systematized form of a technique and skill that is applied to the body by hand and creates both physiological and psychological effects on the person. The word origin is thought to be derived from the Arabic word mas’h meaning ‘light pressing’ or the Greek word massein meaning ‘kneading’. Today, massage is used by experts in a wide variety of fields such as health, sports and aesthetics for the purpose of curing the person, supporting the treatments and regulating the energy balance. It is thought that massage practices have a history of about five thousand years. Although the ways and purposes of its application have differed in history, it is known that it was used frequently in Chinese, Greek, Indian and Egyptian cultures, and its use for health purposes began in China around 3000 BC.
There is a wide variety of massage techniques; they meet the different needs of people. For example, Swedish and Sports massages are built on the anatomical and physiological structure of human beings, while Shiatsu and Thai massages, which originated in the Far East, are built on energy. These are based on the meridian and the energy system. Massages with ethereal oils in India made Ayurvedic medicine known to the whole world as a treatment method from this region.
Before answering the question of what are the positive effects of massage applied after sports, let’s review the benefits of massage and then talk about the effects after sports.
The massage applied locally on the skin, subcutaneous tissues and muscles has an effect that reaches the internal organs. Massage has both physiological and psychological effects at the same time; It increases the body resistance against infections, prevents the formation of scar tissue or provides relaxation of the formed scar tissues, relaxes the muscles, increases the digestive functions, allows us to sleep well, increases the mobility and flexibility of the joints, and even strengthens the ability to focus and concentrate in the person.
So, apart from all these positive effects, what is the contribution of massage in the process we call recovery after sports?
Massage provides the process of returning to the physical and spiritual values of the person after sports, in a resting state. The more accurate the massage recovery methods are performed, the more the performance of the athletes increases, the risk of injury is eliminated and the period of being away from sports is shortened. One of the most widely used methods of recovery after sports is massage. The feature that distinguishes sports massage from other massages is that its duration, rhythm and amount of pressure are different. Sports Massage, which can be applied to the whole body as well as locally, can be applied before, after and during the competition. The aim here is to keep the athlete healthy and fit and to protect him from injuries.