The optimum time to get the most from your treatment
what is sports massage?
The main purpose of sports massage is to help alleviate the stress and tension that builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overuse or overexertion, massage can help break them down; offering relief and aid recovery. Above all, it can help prevent those little niggles from turning into injuries in the first place, which can interfere with your training and everyday life.
Sports massage is not just for sporting professionals; anyone one can benefit including those in physically demanding jobs or someone who spends most of their time hunched over a desk. Emotional or postural stress on the body can produce many similarly characteristics to sports injuries.
This specialist massage tends to be deeper and more intense than a Swedish or Holistic massage, and for that reason is usually focused on a couple of problem areas in any one treatment so as not to overload your central nervous system. Upon consultation, an individual treatment plan for your needs is discussed and agreed, to provide the best results.
Sports massage is, however, based on Swedish massage but often incorporates a combination of other techniques involving stretching, compression, friction and trigger point therapy. A skilled therapist brings together a blend of techniques to work effectively on your specific needs and help restore your optimum performance.
This targeted treatment has three basic forms; pre-event massage, post-event massage and maintenance massage. My primary focus is maintenance massage and injury rehabilitation. Although, if you do have a big sporting event, I can help with a pre-event massage to get you ready, or a post-event massage to aid your recover process. Just get in touch to discuss your needs.
benefits of sports massage
Sports massage can be beneficial both physically and psychologically. Benefits include, but are not limited to:
Increased joint range of motion
Increased sense of well-being
Decreased muscles tension
Decreased muscles spasms
Decreased chance of injury
Decreased recover time between workouts
Relief from pain
I grew up leading a very active lifestyle. Throughout childhood and my teenage years, my day-to-day hobbies included gymnastics and swimming, and weekends were spent rock climbing, mountain biking and mountain walking with my parents. In my late teens I became interested in running and completed the City of Norwich Half Marathon, then, throughout university I was part of and then Chairman of the swim team.
After University I struggled to keep motivated; years of sitting at a desk and not eating right adversely affected my health. That was until I discovered Crossfit, around three and a half years ago. I was hooked from the first session. I loved the way it changed my body, my motivation and my outlook on life.
After working at a desk for the last eight years, in jobs that haven’t really inspired me, I decided the time had come to pursue a career I cared about. I am really intrigued by the human body and am constantly reading and studying to extend my knowledge. So, combing that with my interest in fitness and passion for helping people, a career change to sports massage seemed the right thing for me to do!
My current qualifications include:
ITEC Level 3 & 4 Sports Massage
CPD completed in Strapping and Taping
St Johns Ambulance First aid at work qualified
Level 1 British Weightlifting instructor
I have a few other courses in mind, so expect this list to continue growing!
What should I expect at my first appointment?
When you come for your first appointment there will a few forms to fill in, for both medical history and consent. We will then discuss your issues, expectations, and desired results. I will do a postural assessment and any special tests required if you have an injury, before agreeing a treatment plan with you. I will then leave the room while you get yourself undressed and comfortable on the massage couch.
After the treatment, I will let you get yourself up and dressed slowly, offering some after care advice specific to you. We can then decide whether you want to come again, and if so, how soon.
How will I feel the next day?
You may feel a bit achy or bruised the next day, much like the day after a strenuous exercise session, but I can advise on stretches to help relieve this. A nice relaxing bath or shower can be very beneficial. Occasionally you may get bruising appear; I will usually be able to tell if this will happen treating you. I will do my best to prevent this, but as with the pain, it is very dependant on the area of the body being treated and your own tendency for bruising.
Can I train the same day as a treatment?
It is ok to train before a sports massage, but it is highly recommended you don’t train for 24 hours afterwards. You body needs time to recover to fully feel the benefits of the massage. This is excluding when receiving a specific pre-event massage, which is designed to be used right before a sporting event.
If you want a massage after particularly strenuous physical activity, this will be a post-event massage, using slower and lighter techniques than a usual treatment as, again, your body needs to recover and too much stress on it will overload your central nervous system and not create the desired results.
I don’t go to the gym/run/do sports…
This doesn’t matter. If you have any aches, pains or niggles in your body, you will still benefit from a sports massage. Lots of people spend hours every day sat at a desk, which brings with it a whole host of problems that a sports massage can help with. I can also advise you on posture to help prevent these problem reoccurring. Every day activities such as carrying a baby on one hip, hauling laundry baskets around, or long hours spent driving, all bring problems and imbalances.
So, whatever your occupation or hobby, if you want to feel comfortable in your body, a sports massage will benefit you.
Does Sports Massage hurt?
It doesn’t have to hurt to be effective. This will depend of the nature of your complaint and the area of the body being treated. For example, deep massage of the quadriceps (front of thigh) is usually a lot more uncomfortable than treatment of say the upper back. I will work within your pain threshold, asking for feedback on pressure throughout.
I am a big believer that if results can be obtained from a pain free massage, then that is the way to go. Less pain will mean you are able to relax more and therefore get more of a benefit from the treatment.
Can everyone get a sports massage?
As with all forms of massage, there are some contraindications prevent your receiving treatment. Massage can adversely affect some illnesses or diseases. These will be covered in your consultation, but if you are concerned you have anything that may prevent treatment, please let me know at the time of booking and we can discuss this. I wouldn’t want you to make a wasted trip to come and see me.
I am injured, does this matter?
As a level 4 sports massage therapist, I am qualified to treat injuries. It would be worth letting me know about them upon booking your appointment, and please let me know if you are having any other treatments, such as Physiotherapy or Chiropractic. This won’t prevent me from treating you, but dependant on your injury it would be beneficial for me to know what you’ve already doing.
This being said, if you are in the acute phase of injury (the first few days after it has happened), sport massage is not advisable. If suitable, I would suggest you seek medical advice and contact me for an appointment when swelling is starting to subside.
Do I need to get naked?
To some extent, yes. However, towels are used to maintain your modesty and only the areas being treated need to be exposed. Ladies (or even gents?!), please don’t worry about things like shaving legs… I don’t notice this; I am concentrating on treating your muscles and soft tissues. That said, good personal hygiene is a polite request.
Please try not to be self-conscious; I have treated people from all walks of life, all shapes and sizes. I am not here to judge you, but just to make you feel better.
If any of your questions or concerns haven't been answered, please do feel free to get in touch and I will do my best to answer them.