Training plays a large role in the success of many athletes. "Practice how you play" is a common phrase told to athletes. Most practices include physical training of cardio, weights and skills. However, massage can also benefit an athlete in training.
Massage has been utilized in the treatment of illness and injury for thousands of years by health care practitioners. According to the North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, Chinese writings dating back to 2500 BC describe the use of this modality for a variety of medical purposes.
All types of athletes from amateurs to professionals undergo intense physical exertion as well as stress to muscles and joints. Sports Massage has dated back to 100 AD when Greek and Roman physicians prescribed massage to gladiators before and after exercise. However, in recent decades it has been growing in popularity. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, specific training began taking place for the practitioner to be able to address the specific needs of athletes.