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What Are the Benefits of Sports Massage Therapy?

by
author image Heather M. J. Emerson
Heather M. J. Emerson is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She is the owner and personal trainer at Fit Mommas Personal Training and the author of the "Fit Mommas Guide to a Better Body after Baby."
What Are the Benefits of Sports Massage Therapy?
A young woman is receiving a massage. Photo Credit Jose Luis Pelaez Inc./Blend Images/Getty Images

Sports massage is a type of massage that can alleviate pain occurring in certain parts of the body, which can be caused by too much physical activity. This type of massage was originally developed to serve athletes as a way to prevent and relieve injuries, but both athletes and non-athletes can gain physiological and psychological benefits from receiving sports massage therapy.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Prevention

Sports massage therapy can prevent or relieve delayed onset muscle soreness. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, delayed soreness typically begins to develop 12 to 24 hours after the exercise has been performed. DOMS may produce the greatest pain between 24 and 72 hours after the exercise has been performed. Sports massage therapy prevents delayed onset muscle soreness by encouraging blood and lymph flow throughout the body, preventing muscle fatigue.

Stress and Pain Reduction

Sports massage therapy can help a person manage stress. When a person receives a sports massage, their body releases neurotransmitters called endorphins. According to American Spa, endorphins are released by two centers of the brain known as the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, and they act as the body's natural pain reliever. Endorphins that are released due to receiving a sports massage help to decrease anxiety, provide pain relief, improve mood and enhance a person's state of well-being.

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