Athletes receiving massage for aches and pains dates back to the first olympic games. After the games the athletes would take a dip in a hot bath, receive a massage and then take a dip in a cold bath. Their muscles would feel less tense and they would feel revived and ready to go for the next event.
This rings true today as well. At the 2012 summer olympics in London, England there are approximately 80 medical professionals on staff to work on the athletes when needed. Massage therapists are part of this group.
The massage therapists at the Olympics are tasked with performing massage techniques that will help the athletes perform to the best of their abilities. They do this by helping relieve tension in the muscle tissue, reduce swelling from injury and of course help them to relax.
Below is a list of some of the typical massage techniques our olympic athletes may be benefiting from:
Stretching – helps to increase flexibility and performance
Swedish massage – helps increase circulation, relieve minor muscle tension and helps with relaxation
Sports massage – helps to restore muscle function, relieve tension, helps with flexibility, which in turn can help with athletic performance
All of these techniques and many more are used on the olympic athletes to help them perform at their optimum level. If you would like to feel like an Olympian, I suggest that you go get a massage!