By Steven Milner IIST VTCT Qualified
Welcome to my Sports and Fitness Therapies site, home of personal training and sports massage therapy in Manchester. Are you suffering from back pain, muscle injury or stress? Sports and remedial massage therapy is not just for sports people. It helps many people who’ve never played sports! Whether you’re a marathon runner or an office worker, sports massage relieves pain, facilitates movement and encourages relaxation. Just What is a Sports Massage
A Quick Overview
Since 3000BC in China it has been documented that massage efficiently encourages the healing of body, mind and spirit. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and all major civilizations have recognised the benefits of massage.
In the 21st century we can use massage more than ever. Statisticians tell us stress is increasingly taking its toll on us and our relationships, families and businesses. In response massage is seeing an appropriate and natural surge in popularity. It’s making sense to NHS hospitals, companies like the BBC, Virgin, Apple and countless corporate hospitality suites and individuals.
What Happens During Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a type of massage that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Some sports massage movements use trigger point therapy to break down adhesions or knots in the muscles and increase range of motion. During your first appointment a brief consultation takes place to discuss your current health and relevant medical history. Your treatment will take into account the connections between lifestyle, mind and body. During an effective massage blood flushes through the capillaries and cleanses the body of toxins. Nutrients then flood the freshly massaged areas, strengthening the immune system. Muscle tissue becomes softer and able to function more efficiently. Body fat is broken up leaving the skin smoother and firmer. The parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated and serotonin & endorphins are released, our natural ‘feel good’ & strong painkilling chemicals. Our aches and pains are eased and we feel calm, relaxed and at peace. All the bad stuff is flushed out and all the good stuff flushed in.
Many people assume sports massage is just for sports people, it’s not. Sports massage is for anyone who needs a deep massage that really affects the muscles in a positive way. It’s invaluable to athletes who benefit from pre and post event work, relaxing or invigorating the muscles in preparation for a competition, then afterwards flushing them out, helping the sore muscles detoxify, realign and heal in preparation for the next progression in the athlete’s calendar. Sports massage is ideal for those who don’t play sports but perhaps work in an office environment, sitting in the same position for long periods, or carrying out repetitive tasks inevitably lead to aches and stiffness.
Sports massage is extremely effective for loosening tight muscles and refreshing aching limbs. Sports massage is a no-nonsense therapy that deals directly with the body’s soft tissue. It has developed over the years to deal with the specific conditions that the human body experiences before and after being ‘pushed to the max’. It utilises such techniques as MET (muscle energy technique), Soft Tissue Release and NMT (neuromuscular technique). When injury to muscle tissue occurs the muscle fibres will often misalign themselves whilst healing. Our muscles are covered by a layer connective tissue called fascia. This fascia covers all the individual muscle fibres, the larger bundles of muscles, and the whole muscle groups. It is one continuous piece of tissue that never stops growing and covers our whole body. Normally, when covering healthy, moving muscle it is a soft, gel like substance. However, when our muscle movement is restricted (such as in the case of injury or postural misalignment), tissue fluids cannot reach the areas they need to in order to lubricate the fascia. The fascia hardens and scar tissue forms, further trapping toxins and waste materials, such as lactic acid. This causes pain and dysfunction as the body tries to remedy the situation by setting up a series of structural compensations – leading to further pain and more problems. Sports massage is often combined with remedial massage, which uses the same techniques, to assist the healing and rehabilitation of injuries and dysfunction and to facilitate movement. In this way a sports and remedial massage becomes just as relevant to an office worker, crippled by an unsuitable desk arrangement as it is to an Olympic athlete suffering a torn hamstring!
When Should I Get A Sports Massage?
A sports massage is a good choice if you have a specific problem, a tender knee from running, for instance. It is also be a good idea to see a movement therapist, who can help you identify and correct the movement pattern that might be causing your injury in the first place. As a sports therapist and personal trainer I generally focus in on the problem area, a frozen shoulder or pulled hamstring for example, rather than giving you a full-body massage. No matter what type of massage you choose, I will discuss with you fully any treatment we may feel relevant and make choices together regarding your needs and expectations.
From an Athletes perspective:
Sports massage helps athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. Sports massage emphasizes prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons.
The four main advantages of sports massage for athletes:
*Pre-event sports massage, a short, stimulating massage 15 – 45 minutes before the event. It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion.
*Post-event sports massage, given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body’s tissues.
*Restorative sports massage, given during training to allow the athelete to train harder and with less injury.
*Rehabilitative sports massage, aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.
But you don’t have to be in the Olympics to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. The massage therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area. This is the type of sports massage that you see in the clinic.
Benefits of Massage
Massage provides an excellent and highly effective treatment for stress. It has been proven to help treat the following:
Muscular aches and pains
Fatty tissue deposits
Build up of waste products within the body
Deficit of natural feel good and pain-killing chemicals
After treatment you will feel deeply calm and refreshed. You will feel a heightened sense of ‘body awareness’ which can help you feel how much tension is being carried in your body. This can initiate a journey in modifying your own physical and emotional responses to stress.
Remedial massage is a massage technique that provides a remedy to muscular dysfunction. It separates scar tissue and realigns muscle tissue, with an aim to restore the body to a pain free, balanced state. It uses such techniques as Soft Tissue Release (STR) Neuromuscular Technique (NMT) and Muscle Energy Technique (MET). Sometimes Remedial massage can be a little uncomfortable, but only in a way that you will instinctively know is beneficial. I’ll never take you beyond your limit and all my clients are encouraged to communicate freely and sometimes loudly even. I strongly encourage body awareness and self-treatment, by teaching stretching techniques that can be used outside of clinic time and focusing on investigating, and if necessary changing habits that are causing muscular distress, we can maximise the effect of the treatment, making it more worthwhile for your body and more cost effective for your wallet.
Remedial Deep Tissue Massage treatment is a massage technique that deals with the body’s soft tissue. It has developed over the years to deal with the specific conditions that the human body experiences when it has been pushed too far. It uses such techniques as MET (muscle energy technique), Soft Tissue Release and NMT (neuromuscular technique).
Deep Tissue Massage always deals directly with the muscles. The reason it is called “sports massage” is because it is a style of massage that sports people prefer. We all have our challenges whether they are physical or emotional and this style of massage can benefit anyone from any walk of life. You could be on your feet all day, an office worker sitting in the same position for long periods, or an amateur athlete, I will treat you as an individual and tailor a massage programme that suits you.
To book an appointment or talk to me about Sports Therapy or Personal Fitness e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org