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.
Sports Massage treatment is available as part of TotalMSK's Mobile Musculoskeletal (MSK) Therapy Service, based in 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 techniques. 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 an article on the TotalMSK blog, which covers the stress response in more detail.
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.
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 tend to get used in conjunction with more Remedial Massage techniques.
Our principal practitioner has over 11 years experience in treating 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 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.