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Sports massage courses, such as those taught at the Cortiva Institute, help the massage therapist to master the techniques directly related to sports injury and body health. The sports massage courses may include several specific techniques like effleurage, deep effleurage, petrissage, and superficial. Effleurage is a light stroking technique that helps to relax the body and muscles, and to increase blood flow to the body's extremities. Deep effleurage is a deep stroking technique that is applied with firm and continuous pressure with the same goals as effleurage. Petrissage is a kneading motion done with the palms and knuckles that helps reach the muscle tissue and break up acids caused by high amounts of exercise. Superficial massages are hand motions along the top of the skin and applied with light pressure, as if the therapist is polishing the skin, where the goal is to foster relaxation.
Sports massage courses should include anatomy and hands-on learning experience. This helps the therapist know why certain massage techniques have a specific result when applied correctly, and what may occur if they are applied incorrectly.