Proactive vs. Reactive
In the book Sports Massage , Author Jack Meagher claims sports massage gives an athlete 20 percent more in the areas of performance, injury prevention, flexibility and career longevity. I can validate this claim based on the results I saw in the many athletes with whom I worked. I’ll go further, and say that receiving regular therapeutic massage is one of the most important things an athlete can do for herself. In fact, I believe it’s the best proactive sports medicine there is. I want to be careful not to diminish the important role athletic trainers and physical therapists play in sports medicine, as their work is essential as well; however, most of what an athletic trainer does is reactive, and because physical therapists only work on a doctor’s prescription, everything they do is reactive.
Comprehensive, therapeutic massage is so powerful because we can identify trouble spots—adhesions, ischemia, hypertonicity and spasm—and restore tissue before these conditions become injurious. Additionally, when tissue is healthy, the athlete can perform at his best.