The history of sports massage goes back to ancient Greece, where the healing benefits of massage on the performance of athletes and gladiators was used to condition the competitors in games (including the original Olympics). From Ancient Greece massage travelled to Rome where Galen, the father of modern medicine, recorded its use. Its rebirth in Europe was established by Pehr Henrik Ling, a Swedish fencing master and gymnast who established a series of techniques (approx 1812) which are now the foundations of “Swedish massage”. The use of massage for sports people continued to grow during the 20th century.
Sports massage is a form of treatment where the techniques of massage are applied to the health of a sportsperson.  In this environment, massage techniques can be applied to the overall wellbeing and performance of the competitor.  Sports massage can be used by the competitor (and therapist) as part of their training and competition schedule, supporting other activities such as coaching, training, rest periods etc.  It can also be applied to conditioning of the sportsperson prior to the event and aiding recovery afterwards. Massage can also be used to enable recovery from injuries.

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