WHY SPORTS MASSAGE?
• Sports Massage is the best method of treatment for relieving tension in muscles and addressing many minor injuries.
• When used in a complementary role to other therapies – such as physiotherapy – sports massage can greatly speed recovery.
SPORTS MASSAGE is usually the treatment of choice for athletes and sportsmen and women wanting a massage treatment to complement their training.
Many top-level athletes are known to value and rely on their pre-event, post-event and regular maintenance sports massages as an integral part of their training programme to help them attain peak performance.
Many people can benefit from Sports Massage as treatment for aches and pains and stiffness resulting from such activities as
• Painting and decorating
• Sitting for long periods of time, at a desk or computer for example
• Playing a musical instrument
The main focus of sports massage is
• preventing injuries
• treating injuries
• rehabilitating after injuries.
• Additionally the psychological benefits to be gained from massage include a feeling of general well-being and relaxation which can contribute greatly to psychological preparation and the focussed concentration needed for competition.
With ever-increasing standards in sports at amateur as well as professional level there is a corresponding increase in the intensity of training – with a price to pay. The body needs adequate time to recover from fatigue and to develop resilience. Sometimes it can happen that, despite increased training, performance levels off and may even begin to fall. This is often a sign that the body is not able to make a complete recovery in between training sessions.
Typical symptoms of incomplete recovery include:
• Pain in muscles and / or joints
• Inflamed tendons and / or bursae
• Restlessness / difficulty sleeping – because of physical tensions, aches & pains
Incomplete recovery leads to
• increasing fatigue and
• increasing risk of trauma – such as
• muscle strain
• joint sprain
• stress fractures
Such minor injuries are the most common musculoskeletal problem – and are usually preventable with a more comprehensive approach to recovery. If not treated properly at an early stage, a minor injury can develop into a more serious long-term condition.
• Massage can be used on a regular basis to prevent injury and to maintain peak performance.
• Massage can treat many minor problems quickly and effectively, and so has an important role in the prevention of further complications.
It well known, of course, that stretching is important. BUT however conscientiously stretching is performed, it only stretches a muscle group as a whole unit. The complexity of movement means that there is often excessive tension in particular sub-compartments within a muscle. This excessive lingering tension is best addressed by massage, using specific soft tissue manipulation techniques such as
• Soft Tissue Release,
• Muscle Energy Technique, and
• Neuromuscular Technique.
Why Pre-Event (Warm Up) Massage?
• Stimulates the circulation, bringing an increased oxygen supply to the muscles (a condition known as hyperaemia) which prepares the muscle in readiness for excessive activity
• Reduces tension and increases flexibility of the muscles so that there is greater endurance and optimum capacity for maximum performance.
• Gives a feeling of general well-being and relaxation conducive to psychological preparation and focus for a competitive event.
The ideal timing for a Pre-Event Massage varies with individual response but
• a general rule-of-thumb is 2 –3 days before the event as this will generally bring you into optimum condition exactly when it counts.
• (Tip: If you are new to massage it is best not to book your first massage ever just before an event as you do not know whether it will leave you too relaxed – or too sore – to perform well!)
Why Post-Event (Warm Down / Cool Down) Massage?
As with the Pre-Event Massage, the Post-Event Massage is aimed at
• stimulating circulation and
• reducing tensions
– however in this case the body is in a totally different state as the muscles are congested and fatigued.
Stimulating the circulation helps to ‘flush out’ toxins.
The aim is to
• relax and rejuvenate tired muscles, and to
• reduce recovery time.
The ideal time for a Post-Event massage is as soon after the event as can be arranged.
Why Maintenance Massage?
Regular Maintenance Massage can be likened to regular tuning of a car engine – or of a piano. This regular “Body Tuning” massage keeps the body in optimum condition for peak performance.
• Assists recovery between intense training sessions,
• Is the most effective treatment for many types of injury
• Helps recuperation after injury.
The aim of the Maintenance massage is:
• To help to prevent over-use injuries, and
• To address specific injuries.
A skilled Massage Therapist is acutely aware of changes in a client’s body tissues – both from week to week, and also over the course of a massage treatment – and can adapt the massage treatment accordingly to meet the specific needs.
• The Maintenance Massage is relaxing but energising and restorative.
• The regular Maintenance Massage provides a good monitor of any developing imbalances or problems so that these can be addressed before they become serious, thus helping to prevent injuries.
• This Maintenance Massage is where the real “bread and butter” work is done – the deeper corrective work using a symptom-based approach to treat specific problems.
• The accumulation of aches and pains, which many active people take for granted (or treat with painkillers), can be removed by these regular treatments.
In this case, the answer is:”The More Often the Better”!
A general rule of thumb is at least once a week. This is best scheduled for a Rest Day to maximise the beneficial effects.
This is because regular Maintenance Massage has cumulative effects in terms of:
• Regular ongoing regenerative changes in the tissues
• Increased energy and endurance
• Reduced recovery time from training
• Faster healing
• Enhanced early awareness of any physical imbalances, so that training can be modified accordingly.
Ideally, an active person in training would be looking to have a thirty-minute Maintenance Massage every week:
• To maintain peak performance, and
• To help maximise and prolong an active career.
GIFT VOUCHERS ARE AVAILABLE, ASK AT RECEPTION AND “TREAT YOURSELF”
What about “Pre-Event” and “Post-Event Massage” for Non-Sports People?
Why Not?! When you come to think about it, many other activities could merit “Pre-Event” and “Post-Event” Massage Treatment, such as:
• Digging the garden
• Painting and decorating
• Spring cleaning
• A long journey – whether driving, or as a passenger
• A long essay or work assignment to write
• A forthcoming hectic day or event
• A particularly busy period at work
• A major change – such as moving house
• A musical concert or other performance involving long hours of rehearsal
• A looming exam – or driving test
There’s ten, for starters.
Shall we offer a prize to who ever comes up with the longest list ?!
Certainly we often find that many people need a “Post-Event Massage” to relieve the aches and pains after spending a weekend painting and decorating, or digging the garden,
Next time you are planning such an activity, why not be one step ahead and book yourself a “Pre-Event” Massage to warm yourself up for all that strenuous activity!
And of course, not everyone wants to be “stretched and pummelled” (although we’d like to say to you that there’s more to Sports Massage than this fabled “Stretching and Pummelling” – honestly there is!)
Our Sports Massage Therapist is Chris Halliday.