Sports massage is a form of bodywork geared toward participants in athletics. It is used to help prevent injuries, to prepare the body for athletic activity and maintain it in optimal condition, and to help athletes recover from workouts and injuries. Sports massage has three basic forms: pre-event massage, post-event massage, and maintenance massage.
Bodywork ranges from very gentle energy work where the therapist uses light or even no touch, as in Reiki, to sometimes uncomfortable modalities such as Rolfing Structural Integration. In classic Rolfing, a series of 10 treatments uses physical manipulation of the fascia to release old holding patterns and misalignments that are responsible for much of chronic discomfort and pain. Other bodywork methods are aimed at reeducating the body’s movement patterns so that it functions better.
Most types of bodywork share similar goals, such as relief from pain, improved physical functioning, more freedom of movement, a balanced mind, and a heightened sense of body awareness, vitality, and well-being. They also stress active participation in health and wellness.