Massage is often deemed as an indulgent treat and perhaps for some, this is true. But we can never avoid the healing ability of massage however luxurious it seems – massage simply put is beneficial to our health.There are many types of massage, but we wanted to discuss Sports Massage and why regular “maintenance” treatments are valuable. Massage works on the soft tissues in the body – muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia – and can be received in conjunction with other treatments such as physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathy.
Despite official research results, for a treatment to have lasted for centuries, it must have a positive effect. It is most widely know to:
• Increase range of motion/mobility
• Increase flexibility
• Correct Imbalances (in conjunction with exercises an stretches)
• Reduce pain and tension
• Assist in tissue healing and recovery, promoting fibres to repair, breakdown scar tissue and adhesions
• Increase circulation – therefore eliminating waste and supplying tissues with more oxygen and nutrients
• Increase relaxation
Sports Massage itself is not just for sports people. There are specific types of sports massage such as pre-event and post-event massage, but our core patient base at the clinic receive massage either for injury treatment or maintenance. Injury treatment works on a specific injury or problem, aiming to reduce recovery time, while maintenance treatment works on specific elements or areas as requested by a patient to improve performance, posture or the general health of their muscles and soft tissue. If you sit at a desk, drive long hours, garden, walk, look after children or animals, run 5km or 50km, the stresses of daily life are still hard work on your body – unless you look after it, so don’t think this treatment is reserved for those who are officially ‘sporty.’
Sports Massage is a deep, specific and powerful massage, which can be both relaxing and uncomfortable.A therapist will assess you on your first visit, aiming to understand all the elements of the problem you have presented them with, as well as your lifestyle, activities and look to gain a clear picture of what the problem is, the treatment plan and your goal/outcome. This could range for an Achilles tendon injury, neck tension or headaches at work through to just wanting to look after your body.
Massage has a cumulative effect, the more treatments you have the better the results and the longer lasting the effects. This is why maintenance massage is so powerful. Initially, depending on the problem, you are likely to receive a few treatments close together (once a week for 2 or 3 weeks), before spacing these out to eventually settling at 3-4 weekly intervals (ideally), but some patients stretch their treatments to 6-8 week intervals (sometimes in conjunction with another therapy such as chiropractic).
The benefits of regular/maintenance Sports Massage treatment:
• Longer lasting effects
• Less pain (painful areas in treatment sessions 1-4 will reduce dramatically over time the more they are worked)
• Comfort – you will become more comfortable with your therapist and therefore relax more and feel confident with their treatment
• Your therapist knows you and your body – they can then work smarter, deeper and more effectively
• You can begin to work on specific goals and a long-term plan.
In short, don’t underestimate the value of massage itself and the importance of continuous care – doesn’t your body deserve it?