Sports Massage is commonly used to:-
- Aid recovery (post event).
- Improve performance.
- Physiologically & psychologically prepare an athlete (pre-event).
- Increase circulation.
- Increase flexibility.
- Increase mobility.
- Reduce the chance of injury.
- Treat tissue adhesions or scar tissue
- Treat myofascial pain
Sports Massage treatment is available as part of TotalMSK's Mobile Musculoskeletal (MSK) Therapy Service, based from Reading, Berkshire. The private patient mobile service operates up to 20 miles from Caversham in Reading and 20 miles from Cambridge. TotalMSK also operates mobile Corporate Wellness Clinics throughout Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire. Sports Massage involves a blend of Holistic and Swedish massage. Sports massage is a more advanced form of massage and includes deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage does not have to be painful and nor should it be. Some level of discomfort is reasonable, and yet professional therapists will know how to work with the body. Tissues tend not to respond well to brute force, which just hurts and causes bruising. The article on self-massage and foam rolling covers more about why deep tissue massage might prove painful when performed incorrectly. Unfortunately, pain is one of a multitude of stressors, resulting in the initiation of the "fight", "flight" or "freeze" stress response. As part of the stress response, a wide range of hormones get released into the bloodstream, and these have far-reaching effects on the body. Such, effects include the release of endorphins (the bodies natural painkillers). The human stress response should not need initiating for massage therapy to be effective and nor is it desirable. There is also an article on the blog, which covers the stress response in more detail.
Sports Massage Training
Sports Massage training has changed a great deal over the years, and there are various levels of education and qualifications. Historically, one had to have completed a basic Massage Therapy course before being able to undertake the base Level 3 Sports Massage qualification. These days there are training providers running fast-track courses which take a day or even a week for the more advanced levels of qualification. However, many of the professional associations in the field have strict requirements governing hours relating to course; content, duration and hands-on practical. Hence, there are many qualifications and indeed practitioners who are not eligible for membership of said associations. As of 2018, the highest (QCF) recognised Sports Massage qualification is BTEC Level 5.
Sports Massage Therapy
Sports Massage itself basically consists of fours types of technique:-
Effleurage is used to a large extent during Sports Massage to assess, warm up and relax tissues. It is common to use effleurage at the start and end of a Massage Therapy session too. The remaining Sports Massage techniques each work differently. Training and experience help ensure that the therapist selects the most appropriate method for the desired result. The desired outcome could be a reduction in Myofascial pain, to reduce tension associated with scar tissue or adhesions etc. However, there are other methods of treating Myofascial Pain, such as with Myofascial Dry Needling, Advanced Remedial Massage therapy and even Gua Sha or IASTM. Aspects of Remedial Massage and Gua Sha or IASTM can also work well with Scar Tissue and Adhesions. Deep tissue massage techniques are usually used to improve muscle suppleness and joint flexibility. One does not have to play sport to find sports massage beneficial. Tissues within the body can change and lose suppleness from day to day life and a sedentary lifestyle. Gravity applies forces to the body on a daily basis, impacting the structure of function of movement. Such factors usually increase the load on tissues and underlying structures, resulting in pain. Such issues are not just about "correct posture". There is very little evidence even to suggest that there is such thing as a "correct posture". Holding any given position for an extended period will have an impact on various aspects of structure and function. The effect may just be increased tension, stiffness, pain or decreased mobility.
Pre and Post Event Massage
As the name suggests, sports massage is often used to treat people engaged in sport. It is quite reasonable for sports people to seek various types of soft tissue therapy pre and post event. Many sports people will also find maintenance treatments between training sessions or competitions beneficial. Pre-event sports massage is vigorous, with the aim of warming muscles and underlying structures before the event. Massage performed in this way can have physiological effects and can also produce significant psychological benefits. Athletes can gain performance benefits when sports massage is part of their usual routine. Post-event massage is somewhat different to pre-event massage and has an entirely different aim. Post-event massage is more slow and rhythmic in fashion. Exercise usually creates micro-trauma to tissues, which is part of the natural adaption process. Post-event massage aims to soothe and relax tired soft tissue structures and avoid generating more micro-trauma. Sports Massage techniques are frequently used in conjunction with more Advanced Remedial Massage techniques.
Our principal practitioner (Terry) has over 11 years experience treating office workers, emergency service personnel, military personnel and both amateur and elite level athletes. Athletes have included, rowers, gymnasts, triathletes, runners, ballet dancers, horse dressage competitors, cross fit competitors, swimmers, cyclists, elite-serving and ex-service military personnel and many other disciplines. He has developed a specific interest in Sports Chiropractic (McTimoney), due to a combination of his previous time within the armed services and his additional training in advanced soft-tissue therapies. Soft-tissue therapy and McTimoney Chiropractic technique work exceptionally well together, as each type of treatment has limitations. Furthermore, Terry has signed up for the Sports Massage Association (SMA) Road2Success Athlete Sponsorship Programme. The programme is designed to help our future Olympic Athletes, who currently lack sponsorship or funding. Therapists who have signed up offer special discounted treatment rates to Athletes who meet the eligibility criteria. Please see the Sports Massage Association (SMA) link on the page for further details.
Chiropractic and Massage Registrations
All of our practitioner's hold relevant professional industry registrations and or memberships. Our principal practitioner Terry Davis MSMA holds additional memberships and registrations for Massage Therapy with the Complementary & Natural Health Council (CHNC) and a BTEC Level 5 Clinical Massage Therapy qualification with the Sports Massage Association (SMA):-