Massage as it relates to sports conditioning is not an indulgence, but a necessity. If you are active in sports, weight training, power lifting or bodybuilding, sports massage is essential to sustaining and improving your level of performance. There are several reasons for this:
- Massage will maintain the body in generally better condition.
- Massage can help prevent injuries which can result in loss of mobility – which can exacerbate an injury.
- Massage can cure and restore mobility to injured muscle tissue.
- Increased mobility will boost performance.
- Massage will extend the overall life of your sporting career.
- Massage and increased mobility can stretch the muscle fascia thus allowing the muscle to grow.
As a personal trainer in multiple sports with over 20 years of experience, I can recognize and address many conditions that hinder optimal athletic performance. Many times pain in a certain area is the result of an injury in another part of the body. There are many conditions a qualified sports masseuse can address. For example:
By applying deep pressure to the posterior compartment in the back of the shin and stretching the sheath around the muscle I can reduce pressure on the muscle compartment thus relieving the condition.
Proper massage technique can ease the tension of the plantar fascia in the sole of the foot, thus relieving pain. This technique can help relieve the symptoms of fascia injury from persons who pivot and turn powerfully on their feet. This can also relieve “hot-foot” that results from clipped bicycle pedals.
Often, people with ankle strains are suffering from repetitive motion injuries. Massage will increase circulation to the injured area and help to break down adhesions and scar tissue.
Hamstring muscles in most people are chronically and dangerously tight. Tight hamstrings can cause serious back injuries. Additionally, tight hamstrings will unnaturally tilt the pelvis, putting your core at risk. Massage can loosen the muscle and surrounding fascia and help to break up performance limiting adhesions and scar tissue.
Groin injuries should first be treated with ice and rest for about a week. This allows for some healing. After a week, massage is essential to getting the muscle loose again and breaking up adhesions. If a groin injury is not properly treated, it can limit athletic performance for months.
If your strength has stagnated, massage can address limitations in the larger muscle groups, thus increasing mobility and strength. Many times the muscle fascia needs to be massaged and stretched in order to allow the muscle to grow. Proper massage can help you add pounds to your bench, squat and dead lift. Massage will add years of peak performance to strength athletes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where Will My Massage or Bodywork Session Take Place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet, private room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.
Must I Be Completely Undressed?
Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped during the entire session.
Will the Massage Therapist Be Present When I Disrobe?
The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet or towel.
Will I Be Covered During the Session?
You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.
What Parts of My Body Will Be Massaged?
You and I will discuss the desired outcome of your session. This will determine which parts of your body require massage. A typical full body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. You will not be touched on or near your genitals (male or female) or breasts (female).
What Will the Massage or Bodywork Feel Like?
It depends on the techniques used. Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is often a baseline for practitioners. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension.
Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.
Are There Different Kinds of Massage and Bodywork?
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more.
How Long Will the Session Last?
The average full-body massage or bodywork session lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.
What Should I Do During the Massage or Bodywork Session?
Prior to the massage, feel free to ask me any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the massage, make yourself comfortable. I will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm).
Many people just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, another blanket, or anything else relevant to the session. If you have any questions regarding the session or about the particular technique you are receiving, feel free to ask me.
How Will I Feel After the Massage or Bodywork Session?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage.
What Are the Benefits of Massage and Bodywork?
Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being.
Are There Any Medical Conditions That Would Make Massage or Bodywork Inadvisable?
Yes. That’s why it’s imperative that, before you begin your session, the practitioner asks general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Your practitioner may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.