Mental Health and Sports Massage

Mental Health and Sports Massage

As Mental Health Awareness Week brings ways to decrease anxiety and increase well-being into the spotlight once more, perhaps its time we stopped considering Massage an indulgence, but another equally useful therapeutic tool in our self-care repertoire.


How a sports massage can treat your body and mind

In todays society there are stresses literally everywhere; at work, at home, in your free time. This creates stress and for many of us stress creates an inner tension which creates physical pain. Pain can heighten stress and anxiety and lead to further issues so treating physical pain with a sports massage can return your body back to normal which will be a huge relief for your mind.


How much sports massage do you need and when

Sports massage can be used whilst you are injured, in fact it can be used seconds after an injury. If you have been running and you feel a tear in the calf for example, then the structures around the torn muscle can react by guarding and become tight themselves. These can then be worked and loosened with massage leaving the torn muscle to heal for a few days.

Sports massage frequency depends on the demands you put upon your body. If you go for gentle walks a few times a week then a sports massage once a month will do. If you are a ironman runner, rugby player or heavily into training for example then you would do well to maintain your body more frequently as you will risk hypertensive myo-fascial structures and risk injury. Two to four times a month would be advised for this level of physical effort.


Who would benefit from a sports massage

We work with all types of sports enthusiasts from Sunday golfers to professional footballers and GB athletes. Anyone who puts their bodies through physical stress, be it in the office or in the gym come here to get the maintenance their bodies and their minds need.  We understand how physical and mental effort during training and sporting events have their toll after a while. We see people injured due to issues with movement patterns and we see people who are psychologically burdened with expectation of being the best at their sport. Basically we treat anyone and everyone as we all move, sit poorly, get stresses and strains and feel the pressure of todays society. So if you know anyone who is in need of a break then we can help them.


LOOK - some touching research

When we receive touch a signal is sent to our brain, which then triggers the release of oxytocin – commonly known as the love drug – as well as the two other happy hormones, Serotonin and Dopamine.

The intentional, informed ‘touch’ of sports massage goes even further. Along with boosting the happy hormones, it has been proven to lower the hormone cortisol – a key component in our stress response. And while this is essential for quick reactions in emergencies when present long-term, even in lower quantities, it’s harmful for the overall health of the body. It can cause muscle tension which leads to joint stiffness, posture issues and movement impairments.

So whilst sports massage still tends to be thought of either as a luxury activity to pamper yourself or as something sport-specific, it’s now starting to be seen as a valuable element in health care, because it has been shown not only to decrease pain and tightness in muscles, but also to help relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress, and sleeping disorders.

With a greater understanding of a sports massage’s ability to improve both physical health and performance, it’s perhaps no surprise that it is increasingly being used in combatting anxiety and stress.

Where there are fewer physical symptoms to treat –sore muscles, twinges and niggles etc – much of the emotional benefit we receive from a massage is due to the positive effects of touch itself.

In 2013, a study was conducted that measured the effects of massage in regards to occupational stress experienced by Intensive Care Unit (

ICU) nurses.

One group participated in 25-minute massages, twice a week for four weeks, while the second group received no massage at all. The results showed a significant decrease in occupational stress scores for the first group, compared to the group that received no massage – showing the benefits regular massage can have in combating the everyday stresses that affect so many of us.







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