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Sports Massage Therapy

History of sports massage therapy:


Massage therapy dates back to the early times with documents of the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and other countries using different strokes on the body to alleviate pain and suffering.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries massage techniques were used by doctors in Europe and America to treat a variety of chronic diseases.  In the 1950s sports massage therapy was developed and used on Olympic athletes during the Olympic Games.  The massages allowed these athletes to perform better and recover faster from the strain on their muscles during the games.  Sports massage soon became the “in” therapy in all the sports around the world.  Today, sports massage is used before an event, after the event, and for maintenance in-between events on both animal and human athletes worldwide.


Why massages work:


All animals can benefit from regular massages it is not just limited to the show animals.  Here are the ways that Sports massage is very beneficial to the whole body:

  •   Enhancing muscle tone and increasing range of motion of soft tissue
  •   Helping to balance the body by treating the whole body; rather than individual parts
  •   Maintenance of good posture and body balance
  •   Reducing inflammation and swelling, while alleviating pain
  •   Promoting healing by increasing the blood flow to the muscles and carrying away excess toxins and fluids
  •   Preventing atrophy (wasting) in inactive muscles
  •   Relaxing the muscles and releasing the tension
  •   Stimulating circulation and the release of Endorphins, nature’s pain killers
  •   Improvement in athletic performance
  •   Loosing and softening of scar tissue
  •   Advancement of healing through increase flow of nutrients to injured muscles
  •   Lengthening of connective tissue and resulting reduction in the formation of adhesions leading to fibrosis (scar tissue)
  •   Helps to keep the whole body in a better physical condition


How often does an animal need to be massaged?


That depends on the condition of the animal and its level of activity. Massage is a great way to also use as preventive measures for keeping an animal injury free. Here are some guild lines to follow for the different types of activity levels your animal is involved in:


Plan A: (animals in a heavy work load)

Week 1: 3 massages

Week 2: 2 massages

Week 3: 1 massage

Week 4 and so on: 1 massage every week


Plan B: (animals in regular competitions)

1 massage every 2 weeks


Plan C: (animals in competitions occasionally)

1 massage every 2 weeks for 6 weeks and then as needed


Plan D: (pleasure animals)

Massages as needed

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