2/ SPORTS MASSAGE IS A NATURAL FORM OF RECOVERY
Sports massage after exertion, by soothing inflammation, reduces muscle 'stress' caused by effort and limits delayed aches and pains.
Massage helps to heal micro-lesions of damaged muscle fibres, by increasing cutaneous vasodilation and facilitating venous and lymphatic circulation. The purpose is thus to prevent pain and reduce swelling. Massage acts as medication without the potential side effects.
TECHNICAL SHEET OF A RECOVERY MASSAGE
Massage takes place in a warm and comfortable room, lit by gentle and natural light to prevent any type of visual harshness. Ideally, soft ambient music may be played. The athlete lies on a wide massage table covered by a disposable sheet. The massage may be preceded by a hot shower or session in the sauna to facilitate vasodilatation.
The goal is to purge and stimulate the circulatory and muscle system using kneading techniques, vibrations, percussion, friction and soft, non-deep massage for a minimum duration of 20 minutes using essential oils, restorative balms or talc, starting from the end of the limbs and moving to the root. Some more sensitive areas may benefit from DFM (deep friction massage) unless the muscle damage is recent, since there is a risk of aggravating the injury or causing the formation of myositis ossificans.
Lymphatic drainage, whether manual or using a machine, may be proposed as a complement to massage for athletes with circulatory failure in the lower limbs or during rehabilitation after the wearing of a plaster.
COMPLEMENTS TO MASSAGE
Applying cold in the form of localised showers or other methods can help accelerate muscle recovery.
Post-effort active stretching may be proposed.
Everyone can manage self-massage to facilitate circulation and venous return by wearing recovery socks.