The Story Behind Sports Massage – Historical Facts

Sports massage has roots in ancient times, with historical evidence suggesting its use in ancient Greece and Rome to help athletes prepare for competitions. However, the modern history of sports massage began to take shape in the 20th century.

In the mid-20th century, sports massage gained recognition for its role in enhancing athletic performance and preventing injuries. Pioneers like Jack Meagher and Therese Bertherat contributed to its development, emphasizing the application of massage techniques to address the specific needs of athletes.

As sports science advanced, sports massage became more integrated into training regimens and injury rehabilitation. Today, it plays a crucial role in the overall athletic care continuum, helping athletes recover, prevent injuries, and optimize their performance.

Sports Massage is very similar to the Swedish massage techniques. It involves long, gliding strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the muscles to promote relaxation and improve blood circulation, but also more stretching of tissue and joint mobilization. Furthermore Sports massage is often given more deep.

In 2021 Sports Massage was one of the new categories at the International Massage Associations (IMA’s) 4th World Championship in Massage.

It happened to be Georgios Geomelos from Greece (living in Las Vegas, USA) who won the the first Gold medal. It was during the Corona pandemic where the International Massage Association had to make the World Championship in Massage into a Hybrid Championship. Watch the interesting final here:

Did you like the article? Or did you like taking part of the World Championship in Massage or one of our classes, then please feel free to give us a nice review on Google.

Read more articles and watch amazing videos on the International Massage Associations WhatsApp and Telegram Channels.

IMA Academy host many courses, read more where or how to host an IMA Masterclass here.

Jessie Breard, from France won IMA’s Best Sports Massage Promotion award at the World Championship in Massage 2023.