How can Sports Massage help me?
This type of massage is not just for athletes, many people can benefit from the specific techniques, especially if they have specific problem areas. Many people have pain and muscle tension which can be caused by their posture, their work or stress and anxiety. In the case of sports people it can help prepare for events as part of their training schedule and also the recovery time post event. For those who are requiring a sports or deep tissue massage for pain relief and increased flexibility then it can help to drain away the fatigue and tension in the muscles.
Benefits of a sports / deep tissue massage:
Reduce muscle tension, cramping, swelling and inflammation
Promote increased flexibility and mobility
Stimulate lymphatic system aiding with the removal of waste products
Speed up recovery times
Stress and Anxiety relief
What to expect
The session will last around one hour, although the first session will be longer to account for the pre therapy consultation and a postural assessment. The consultation will include a full medical history and general lifestyle. During the postural assessment I will be looking at the skeletal and muscular alignments and also checking the range of your movements. This will ensure that we can jointly develop a specific treatment plan tailored to your needs.
For the first session of a Sports or Deep Tissue Massage I ask for men to bring or wear shorts and ladies to bring or wear shorts and a sports bra / vest top. There is no need to be nervous about a postural assessment but if you feel anxious then I can discuss this with you prior to your appointment. For me, it is more important that you feel relaxed so that you feel greater benefits after the massage. During the massage towels and blankets will be used to ensure that you are comfortable at all times.
A question I am often asked is, "Will it be painful?" and the honest answer is yes, sometimes it can be a little tender. If the muscles are very tight and overworked then the massage can be a little uncomfortable at first but as the flexibility increases the pain will diminish. Many clients refer to sports massage as a "good pain" as they can feel their muscles starting to loosen up during the massage. With regards to pain I am can be completely guided by you and can adjust my pressure accordingly. From experience the first couple of sessions are usually the most uncomfortable, after this most sessions are relatively pain free and very relaxing. Whilst I do believe that sometimes a little bit of "tenderness" is required to work the muscles, I am not a fanatical "no pain, no gain" therapist! If a client would like to come for a light relaxing back and shoulder massage then I can adapt my massage techniques accordingly so it is important that we have an honest discussion during the consultation of your needs and expectations. On the first session I will tend to massage in a lower intensity so that we can gauge how your body responds to massage both during and afterwards.
Most sessions tend to end with some stretches to aid flexibility and I will often show clients some relevant stretches that they can do at home so as to maintain the benefits of the massage.
After the therapy I always recommend clients to drink lots of water, avoid caffeine and alcohol and eat light balanced meals and if possible to relax and not to over exert themselves physically for the remainder of the day. All these help the detoxification process within the body and should aid in the prevention of negative side effects.
Are there any side effects after the therapy?
After the session clients can experience a variety of different reactions, many of which are positive, all the below reactions are part of the body's healing process as it tries to return to a balanced state. During massage, whilst releasing tension in the muscles and stimulating the lymph system toxins are released. All the following reactions are entirely normal and tend to last for 24-48 hours:
Relief from pain or you can experience muscular aches
More mobile joints
Drowsiness (increased sleep will help the body to rest and heal)
Spots which are due to the elimination of toxins
Increased urination and more frequent bowel movements which again are due to the elimination of toxins
Emotional or psychological release (e.g. crying)
How many sessions will I require?
Every client I meet is treated as an individual so it is hard to define an ideal number of sessions. Some clients like to see me every week and others may come once every couple of months for some relaxation time. If there is a specific injury or sporting event that my client is working towards then the number of sessions will be dictated by other factors. From experience I find that around 5 - 6 weekly sessions enables us to identify areas of concern and by this point my clients tend to feel the benefits of the massage. If everything is going well after this time then I think a "maintenance" session every 1 - 2 months works well.
Is Sports / Deep Tissue Massage suitable for everyone?
Sports / Deep tissue massage is suitable for most people but there are certain conditions which would prevent it from going ahead which I am happy to discuss prior to your appointment. If you have a recent acute injury then it will need to be rested and iced before any massage can be considered. If you are under the care of a consultant then I would advise my client to speak to him/her to ensure that they felt that Sports Massage would not affect their treatment plan. If you are under the age of 18 then you will need to be accompanied by a parent / guardian who will need to sign consent on your behalf. Please feel free to call and discuss this with me prior to the appointment if you are unsure.