Sports & Remedial Massage

Sports & Remedial Massage

Sports massage is the use of Swedish and remedial massage to maintain and improve sporting performance. The approach of sports massage will vary greatly depending on when the massage is given: pre event, inter event, post event or during training. Massage during each period of activity is appropriate to the current or forthcoming needs.

The aim of sports massage is to prevent sporting injuries as well as help maintain and optimise performance. Sports massage aims to identify and treat issues (e.g.: tension, imbalance, weakness) before they cause injury, reducing lost training time and helping improve performance. Treating injuries, whether caused by sport or daily life, is remedial massage.

Remedial massage is the targeted use of Swedish and advanced massage techniques to remedy muscular and mobility problems. The areas targeted are first identified using musculoskeletal examination, range of motion (ROM) assessments and special musculoskeletal tests.

Advanced massage techniques include: myofacial stripping, trigger point release, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) and Muscle Energy Techniques (MET).

Swedish Massage

Swedish physiologist Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), having travelled throughout Europe, developed both a system of exercise, "Swedish Remedial Gymnastics", and massage. He is generally credited as being first to use the terms "effleurage", "petrissage", "vibration", "rolling", and "slapping". His methods were adopted widely and were often referred to as the "Ling method" and later as "Swedish Massage".

Massage techniques help move interstitial fluid, blood and lymph; boost distribution of nutrients to the cells of the body and remove waste. As waste is washed out fresh nutrients move in. Capillaries enlarge increasing blood circulation. Massage strokes help direct venous blood back towards the heart and lymph along lymphatic vessels.

Massage helps to loosen connective tissue of the skin, muscle and fascia. It also helps break down adhesions caused by injury or the repair of micro-tears in muscle after exercise or repetitive strain. Small, localized stretching is generated in the muscle while it is massaged, encouraging it to lengthen, improving flexibility and muscle tone. A similar action happens to blood vessel walls helping improve their elasticity and functionality.

The techniques used in Swedish massage allow for a range of depth of pressure. Therefore Swedish massage can be a light massage or a moderately deep massage.

Integrated Massage

Integrated massage is a term used to denote the blending of various styles of massage and body-work. The subsequent blend is unique to the individual practitioner and the diversity of techniques available to the therapist means that there is an increased chance the massage will meet your individual needs. In particular I use the term integrated massage to denote my 1.5 and 2 hour massage sessions.

My style of integrated massage blends together shiatsu, remedial & sports massage, aromatherapy, reiki and do-in. I bring to each massage over 20 years experience in shiatsu and do-in.

Working on a futon on the floor allows me the use of the full range of shiatsu techniques during the massage. Working on the floor also means that my centre is above my work. This allows pressure to come from relaxation and the use of my whole body weight. Both shiatsu and remedial massage employ various forms of stretching most of which can be applied on the floor, however where appropriate I may briefly swap to a massage couch to perform any stretch that needs a raised position.

Depth of pressure can range from, very light, even off body, to full body weight, including walking on the body. Application of pressure is specific to the individual client, determined by the body's needs and clients wishes.

During a remedial massage session

The Consultation

  • A consultation will be taken which will include relevant medical questions
  • Next a general visual examination followed by specific testing will be performed
    • Expect to undress
    • Examination and testing is generally done with the client in minimal clothing
      • Wear underwear you would be comfortable in under the circumstances
      • Short shorts, sporting bra, speedo style swimming briefs, bikini style swimwear may offer the best comfort
    • Clients are not expected to undertake anything they are uncomfortable with
      • There are always ways to work around
      • Sheets and towels can be used to help maintain your modesty
  • Following consultation and examination a plan of action will be discussed and agreed

The Massage

  • Remedial massage is performed on the areas indicated by the consultation and testing
  • Massage is normally performed on a massage couch
    • I prefer to work on a futon at floor level
    • Though I use a couch where appropriate
  • Sheets and towels are used to help maintain your modesty
  • Oil, lotion or wax is generally used to help the practitioners strokes flow across the skin
    • My preference is to use either calendula infused sunflower oil, hypericum infused sunflower oil or macadamia oil.
    • A session, including consultation, will last an hour, unless otherwise arranged

    Homework

    • A big aspect of remedial and sports massage is homework
    • You will be given advice on how not to exacerbate your injury/condition
    • You are also likely to be given a series of stretches (PNF exercises) to do multiple times daily

    After care

    • Following advice and homework will increase the likely hood you overcome a condition
    • Refrain from movement that causes pain
    • Regularly mobilise the troubled area throughout its pain free ROM
    • Where possible refrain from or modify the activity that caused the issue
    • It is generally advised to drink plenty of water after your massage

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