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Sports Massage Therapy

Sports Massage Therapy

Sports Massage Therapy is a deeper tissue massage developed to help athletes prepare and recover from training, sporting events and competitions. As a Sports Massage Therapist I aim to help individuals reach their best possible performance and to contribute in rehabilitation from sports related injuries. Although sports massage is designed to assist people involved in sporting activity and is sometimes referred to as performance massage, anyone with an injury, chronic pain or issues with range of motion could benefit from this deeper form of massage, which can help to relieve many day to day problems that everyone experiences. Sports massage therapy is aimed at helping an individual:

  • To reach peak performance
  • Optimise function, relieve swelling and reduce muscle tension
  • During rehabilitation process following injury
  • To improve postural problems and to promote flexibility.

Sports massage is particularly effective in treating minor soft tissue problems and in relieving troublesome aches and pains before they develop into more serious overuse injuries. It is also great in the pre-event situation, whether your needs are for relaxation or stimulation, and in post-event relaxation and recovery. Finally, it is good for the general relief of stress and tension and for fatigue, whether this is occupational, recreational or sporting.

My overall aim as a therapist is to help relieve tension and stress that has built up in the soft tissues, typically due to physical activity, overuse or overexertion. In addition to relieving tension and stress, sports massage can prevent injuries because it helps keep muscles flexible.

Sports massage may therefore include event massage, before, during and after a sporting event, maintenance massage between events and rehabilitation massage post injury. There are several physical and psychological benefits of sports massage as follows, which overall help to improve performance and prevent injury:

  • Improves circulation, increasing oxygen and nutrients to the area and removing waste products, such as lactic acid, from muscles. This helps to improve recovery and repair.
  • Stimulates immune function
  • Helps to stop fibrosis
  • Helps to reduce cellulite
  • Assists blood pressure control
  • Relieves tight muscles, improves muscle tone and helps to realign muscle fibres
  • Increases lymphatic drainage helping to reduce fluid retention
  • Aids excretion of waste and toxins
  • Improves texture and tone of skin
  • Helps to break up adhesions, release tight tissues and remodel scar tissue
  • Helps facilitate lost movement therefore restoring mobility
  • Increases joint movement, flexibility and range of movement
  • Helps to strengthen stability
  • Helps to improve any postural misalignment
  • Increases nerve impulses through stimulation with the sensory effects helping to reduce pain and deactivate trigger points
  • Aids relaxation
  • Reduces stress and tension
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Revitalises the mind and body
  • Promotes a general feeling of well-being and assists in mental preparation for sporting events
  • Helps with Insomnia problems
  • Helps to prevent injury and improve performance

Sports massage involves soft tissue therapy which focuses on the muscle systems used in the athletic activity of the individual client. It can combine body massage techniques with trigger point compression and other techniques, such as neuromuscular technique, cross fibre technique, heat treatment and electro-massage, to reduce soreness and help enhance power, endurance and flexibility.

As your therapist I will devise the most suitable programme for your body, your sport and the problems you present with. Your treatment may also involve manual manipulation of your muscles and limbs through a range of passive stretching techniques. Due to the nature of deep tissue manipulation, sports massage can be uncomfortable at first, but as your body responds, the benefits will be felt, as muscle stiffness reduces, problems resolve and flexibility increases.

As with all treatments, a full assessment will be completed on your initial visit, to ensure there are no contra indications to treatment. The initial and subsequent assessments will include objective and subjective assessment to identify problem areas and to monitor and evaluate progress. Treatment at each visit will be planned and agreed with each individual client before proceeding.

Regardless of your experiences in sport or exercise or whether you exercise socially or compete to an international level - sports massage may have something to offer you.

Sports Massage Association FHT Federation-of Holistic Therapists