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Sports massages vs. Relaxation Massages: The Difference

Each massage technique is unique and focuses on parts of your body that need to be worked on. Each technique depends on your physical and mental situation. It is therefore important that you do not just book a massage. Pick one that best suits your circumstances!

Two of the most popular types of massage that we offer at Mantra Spa are sports and relaxation massages. What is the difference between the two, and how do you know which one is right for you?

What is a sports massage?

Sports massages are used for both preventive and restorative purposes. During sports massages injured or tight muscles are loosened and blood circulation is improved. It is the ideal type of massage for anyone involved in any sport, not just professionals. A sports massage can be just as good before (intensive) exercise. ‘Pre-match’ sports massages are aimed at ‘flushing’ the muscles. This means that the tissue is warmed up for good blood flow. This helps with optimal performance.

A similar technique is also used after movement. The aim is to flush out accumulated toxins. This, in turn, aids in muscle recovery and injury prevention. The fast rhythms that are appropriate with this technique are intended to promote the flow of fluid in your body. Waste materials such as uric acid are removed as a result, and blood is transported faster to places that need recovery.

What is a relaxation massage?

Relaxation massage is a massage technique that aims to relieve muscle tension and to treat (muscle) pain. The pain does not have to be sports related, but can be from anything; think of a wrong posture or headache. Anyone with such aches or pains can benefit from a relaxation massage.

With a relaxation massage, we at Mantra Body Spa look for the points where tensions and/or toxins have built up in the muscles. By applying a softer massage technique, with pressure points, the body is relieved and relaxed.

Which choice suits you best?

The choice between relaxation massages and sports massages depends entirely on what you are looking for.

A sports massage may be the better option if you:

trains regularly
often makes repetitive movements (think tennis or the gym)
want to prevent sports injuries
have had sports injuries in the past
muscles are overloaded
has difficulty after (intensive) exercise or movement

A relaxation massage may be the better option if you:

have aches and pains caused by daily activities
have chronic pain
mood is badly affected by aches and pains
have a specific pressure point for pain
have tense muscles that you cannot relieve yourself
have a lot of stress
suffer from a bad night's sleep

When should I take a sports massage?

You can take both pre- and post-workout sports massages. We recommend both!

A sports massage before sports or exercise helps to prepare your body for exercise. If you have an intense sports activity planned or if you regularly go to the gym, a sports massage can help by preparing your muscles. By doing this you reduce the chance of an injury. Research has also shown that a pre-workout sports massage can help lower blood pressure and increase flexibility. This allows you to move and perform better.

Sports massages after sports or exercise is ideal for recovery. Your muscles go through a lot of strain when pushed to the limit. A sports massage promotes rest and speeds up recovery time. A ‘post-workout’ sports massage also helps to remove waste. Sports massages can also help heal injuries.

When should I take a relaxation massage?

A relaxation massage is restorative, and therefore suitable for ailments or pain. Unlike a sports massage, this type of massage uses deep connective tissue techniques. This will address areas that are bothering you.

In a relaxation massage, our masseurs and masseuses will identify and locate your pain points. They can then use this to reduce the pain, for example. In addition, a relaxation massage is simply enormous – you guessed it – relaxing! It can reduce stress and even improve your sleep. In short, a real blessing for your body!

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