What is it?
Sports massage differs from other massage techniques as it’s delivered with injury or performance enhancement in mind. If you’re physically active, you may notice tightness in muscles or ligaments after a sports or workout session and there may be a build up of lactic acid in your muscles. Sports massage can help.
At Hands On we use Trigger Point Work an integral part of our sports massage - if you've never had it done properly and you love the sensations of great massage, you're in for a treat, although it can involve pain/pleasure. A typical trigger point (hard nodule or 'knot' in the muscle or fascia), might be in the upper trapezius causing jaw or headache-type pain, or in the scapula causing upper back issues.
Our highly qualified massage therapists can effectively diagnose any sustained injury or damage caused by a sporting activity. Hands On sports massage therapists can provide additional stretching techniques and exercises to ensure a thorough rehabilitation.
How is it delivered?
Like all our massage therapy sessions, your practitioner will begin by gently guiding you through a full history of your past injuries and current concerns or issues. This ensures that your massage therapist is aware of your unique needs and can address any worries you may have. They will also provide a full regime of stretches and exercises to ensure your complete recovery. Your practitioner will use a number of techniques to deliver the massage and may involve intense deep kneading of the muscle tissue to release chronic patterns of stress which can develop post exertion. These sessions usually last between 45 minutes and one hour.
Who could benefit from this treatment?
Sports massage is particularly suitable for those who have or are undertaking exercise on a regular basis as it can improve your performance and your body’s response to sustained activity. It is particularly useful after exertion to distribute toxins which can be retained in the muscles causing pain and fatigue. This treatment can also be used to alleviate non-sports related pain in the body.
TESTIMONIALS - here is what our customers say:
“Another belting massage from Sam. I’m tender but no dull aches and I feel great! See you soon"
"Paulina is absolutely brilliant. I feel so much better after her massage. I will highly recommend her to anyone"
"I go here a lot all the staff are very qualified, charming and really good at what they do, never had a dud, would recommend 10/10
"I had a fantastic treatment (sports massage) with Mike and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a seriously good massage! As an overworked massage therapist myself I was in pain . . . Mike was professional and friendly, making me feel comfortable, and providing me with an extremely relaxing yet beneficial treatment"
"Emily was/is amazing. After one session I felt so much better. Cannot wait for my next session. Fantastic aftercare. Thanks Emily"
ARTICLE: SPORTS MASSAGE by Tracey Holland
“Sports massage for recovery and fatigue
”The practise of massage is at its essence a healing art lead mostly by the intuition and experience of the therapist, but, as the use of massage in professional sport has grown, so the massage industry has aligned itself with science in the form of sports massage. Many sports people will include a regular sports massage in their training and recovery programme. Studies show that massage is effective in helping athletes to feel less sore and less fatigued however the mechanism of effective sports massage is hard to pin down. Theories such as flushing lactic acid have now been shown to be incorrect, however this hasn’t changed the effectiveness reported by sports people in terms of lessening DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and less fatigue.
”Studies have shown that massage improves sleep which is a critical time for the body to repair itself especially after exercise and has positive effects on reaction times, motivation and focus, stress regulation, muscle recovery, longevity as an athlete, memory and learning and injury risk to name a few!
”Sports massage will differ from other forms of massage depending on your goals and where you are in your training schedule. In general you can expect a more interactive experience as your therapist will use techniques that require your participation. Feedback from you is also important during a sports massage, your therapist will use information on how you are experiencing the massage to tailor it to your particular physical and mental state. To my mind a sports massage should also be a completely positive experience and as much as possible not centre around perceived problem areas - any acute injury should be deal with by a physio or osteopath in a separate session. Even with ongoing ‘niggles’ a sports massage should explore these areas with the goal of making the you feel a sense of expansion, lightness, that you have more available movement and that your own perception of your body is improved. Especially before competition you should not leave the clinic feeling like you have more problems than what you arrived with!
”A sports massage should also be adjusted according to your training schedule. In the early phase of training a massage session can be a shorter duration and firmer (but not painful) and as training progresses you may want to schedule a longer session that can be slightly less firm and include more joint mobilizations, active stretches and similar techniques that increase your own awareness of how good your body can feel, even though you are putting in a lot of training miles. Don’t schedule a massage just before a race - not within 48 hours prior is the recommendation - and massage directly after a competition should be used with caution. If you are particularly sore after a competition it is advisable to wait 48 hours to get a good handle on what is DOMS or what is a potentially serious injury that should be dealt with more cautiously.
”It’s always an inspiration to work with people who are challenging themselves in any sporting field whether a pro or an amateur. My role as a sports massage therapist is always to try and give you a little bit more of what you need whether that is relaxation, increased range of motion, stretching out a hamstring that is leaving you feeling worried and stressed with discomfort and ultimately making your time on the massage table effective, beneficial and positive.”