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Sports Massage Philosophy


by Nate Graven LMT

Benefits and Effects of Sports Massage

Primary Effects:

Improved circulation of blood, lymph, and cellular fluid
Muscular relaxation
Functional separation of muscle and connective tissue
Formation and alignment of strong mobile scar tissue
Increased mental alertness and clarity
Deactivation of trigger points and nerve irritation/ muscle guarding

Secondary Effects:

Greater energy
Greater flexibility and functional range of motion
Faster recovery
Pain reduction
Improved body awareness and proprioceptive education

Application of Bodywork in Sports:

Recovery-to enhance the athlete’s physical and mental recovery from strenuous sports activity.
Remedial-to improve a debilitating muscle/skeletal condition
Rehabilitation-to facilitate healing after a injury with bodywork modalities complementing physical therapy and medical treatments.
Maintenance-to speed recovery from workout exercises and to help the athlete maintaining optimal health
Performance Gains-proprioceptive education and myofascial alignment work for mechanical advantage.

What is ultimately gained from an effective bodywork session is not just relaxed muscles. Improved function and enhanced recovery/performance through tactile stimulation and soft tissue manipulation can have consistent therapeutic outcomes and compliment other health therapies and overall wellness.

Bodywork with myofascial organization brings the muscle/skeletal system closer to normal, optimal function and makes it more efficient in its use of energy. When the tone of the soft tissues are balanced, there is a sensation of “lightness” in the body.

“Structure Determines Function”

We work to find casual factors of pain and injury to prevent secondary compensation injuries. An important goal is symptom relief, but we must also address of the “whole athlete” to improve overall health wellness, performance and vitality. Our multifaceted model includes massage therapists, physical therapists, athletic trainers, exercise physiologists, and nutritionists who share the concepts and ideas that benefit the “whole athlete”.

Sports Medicine and Bodywork therapies are evolving as more research is conducted. Ongoing research of the benefits of bodywork as it pertains to athletic performance is currently being studied at BASICS in conjunction with WSU Human Performance Lab and medical professionals, coaches and local athletes.


Nate Graven, LMT

Director of Massage Therapy at Basics Sports Medicine

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 9:12 pm and is filed under Expert Answers, Sports Massage. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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