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Sports Massage - The Insight

What is it?

Sports massage is a manual therapy to address issues with the muscles and tendons of the body. These may arise from injury, poor posture, completing exercise among many. It uses a range of techniques to manipulate the muscles to achieve the intended goal of the session. These techniques include hands on deep tissue massage, types of stretching, neuromuscular activation and soft tissue release.


How is it different from other forms of massage and physiotherapy?

Your normal holistic/ Swedish massage is based around light pressure with sweeping strokes towards the direction of the heart. This does have some effect on reducing muscle tension but it isn’t as effective as a sports/ deep tissue massage. Physiotherapy is more concerned about the diagnosis of an injury, treatment of the injury commonly using the same techniques as a sports massage therapist and then rehabilitation exercises.


What are the main benefits?

This is to increase mobility with the body, improve the functioning of the muscles, whether to activate and shorten the muscle or release the muscle so it can lengthen and to relieve pain or discomfort improving overall wellbeing.


Can it improve sports performance?

Through exercise and training muscles will shorten and/or potentially become unbalanced, so massage is a great way, along with stretching and foam rolling, to maintain a balanced efficient movement of the body and therefore increasing your performance.


Can it help me recover from injury or prevent injury?

It is a great way to help healing tissues in recovering quicker. Massage helps to break down bruising / haematomas and also helps scar tissue form in parallel with the existing muscle. After 48 hours of injury it may be safe to seek massage to help with recovery once a diagnosis has been gained.


Are there any contra-indications?

There are many contra indications however it is only the major ones which will stop treatments, many others will just modify the treatment so the goal of the session can still be achieved. If you are unsure of these then please always speak to your therapist prior to an appointment to advise you the best course of action.


The Treatment

How long does a treatment last and cost?

Treatments can last from 15 minutes in a pre or post event setting up to 60-90 minutes depending on the objectives of the session. But normally it is either 30 or 60 minutes. Again your therapist can best advise you the length of time to achieve the desired effect. A 30 minute treatment costs ~£25 and a 60 minute treatment costs ~£40. There are always offers for referral of new clients and also off peak times so it’s good to keep up to date with them via Lee Weston Massage and Fitness Facebook page or Twitter (@lwmassagefit)


How often should you have a treatment?

This is a really hard question to answer as it is very personal. If it is a injury and working with breaking down scar tissue it may be as much as twice a week in to gain the most benefit. However if you are looking at maintaining your supple, balanced musculature with no injuries it could be from weekly to every 4/6 weeks depending on how much training you are doing and also how well you manage your own recovery with foam rolling and stretching.


Does it hurt?

It doesn’t have to hurt to be beneficial and at the same time more pain doesn’t always mean more benefit either. It is in the control of the client and should work within the limits they are prepared to work. Again a good therapist should always be able to achieve the desired outcome via different technique’s to suit the client.


What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing ensuing you are wearing underwear. The therapist will leave the room for you to get read and advise you how you are to be under the towel. They will always protect your modesty with towels by only exposing the area they are working on and act in a professional manner


What training does a Sports Massage Therapist undertake?

There are a number of different qualifications you can undertake to be a massage therapist, different levels and formats of how the courses are run. I qualified in a yearlong part time holistic massage course to ground you in the underpinning techniques and practices of massage. Then it was a specific sports massage course running over 6 months with case studies and exams (written and practical) to qualify to treat clients. From there continual short courses of different techniques and new practices are taken to keep myself up to date and improving my treatments I offer my clients.


What other experience do you have?

I spent 2 years working in the Alps working as a therapist in ski resorts, massaging the likes of Austin Heely and Will Greenwood among other very tired and fatigues skiers. I have worked within the Gloucester RFC medical team alongside other therapists in keeping the 1st team squad in top condition. Also I have worked at many endurance events offering pre and post event massage.


What attracted you to sports massage?

Years of being injured myself from rugby and the therapists managing to assist me in my recovery via manual therapy. I wanted to be able to help others in getting back to fitness and improving their overall health.


What are the most common problems your clients present with?

Bad posture, lack of stretching and muscular imbalances. Unfortunately this is a result of long sitting and driving positions due to our working and social culture with not enough time moving as we were intended to. Commonly tight neck and shoulder, hip flexors with back pain. More often than not contributed to tight pecs, hip flexors, quads and hamstrings.


If you would like to know more or book an appointment to see Lee for a sports massage then contact him on 07890632948 or lee_weston@hotmail.com.


#massage #sportsmassage #softtissuetherapy

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