WHAT IS SPORTS MASSAGE
Sports Massage is a massage treatment which targets soft tissue working to ensure they are in optimal health to function. Sports Massage aids the Recovery and Management of Soft Tissue damage caused by exercise and postural misalignment, Preventing Injury and Chronic Muscular Conditions by reducing muscle tightness and realigning muscle fibres for optimal performance, enhancing the health of soft tissue, preventing injury.
Sports Massage is an effective tool to manage muscle tension, avoid injury, and enhance training. It works with soft tissue to improve the muscle’s ability to function efficiently and effectively using massage techniques to remove muscular adhesions, reduce muscle tightness, and target muscular inhibition, improving mobility, reducing muscular stress, and increasing muscle activation.
Sports Massage plays a key role in post-training recovery, which accelerates rehabilitation from musculoskeletal injuries and helps prevent future injuries. Sports Massage enables you to better manage everyday tasks and activities by improving your physical health and mobility and can be an efficient tool in adapting to physical conditions and difficulties that come with age.
WHO IS IT FOR?
- Athletes & Trained individuals who wish to improve Performance
- Active individuals looking for Maintenance and Injury Prevention
- Those recovering from Injury looking for treatment to work alongside their Rehabilitation
- Those suffering with Chronic Muscular Tension and Postural Misalignment
INJURY MANAGEMENT & PREVENTION
Sports massage is a vital component of rehabilitation working with sub-acute and chronic stages of the soft tissue repair process. In understanding the soft tissue healing process, we assess and reassess the affected muscle tissue to establish the stage of recovery and monitor its functional development. Using neuromuscular techniques, we target inhibited muscles to stimulate muscle tone, desensitise stressed muscle fibres, and realign adhesive and damaged muscles fibres.
SPORTS & TRAINING PERFORMANCE
Sports Massage is a tool to enhance sports and training performance reducing muscular tension and removing adhesions which impact on the muscle’s ability to function efficiently. Physiologically, Sports Massage enhances the ability of neurons within muscle fibres, to “fire” up as well as to relax, increasing the tone of muscle fibres. As well as enhancing performance, Sports Massage plays a key role in post-training recovery, accelerating the healing of soft tissue damaged by training, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries, and aiding the prevention of future injuries.
CHRONIC MUSCULAR TENSION & STRESS
Sports Massage enables you to better manage everyday tasks and activities by improving your physical health and mobility, an important part of adapting to physical conditions and difficulties that come with age. Through targeting muscular tension and dysfunction, Sports Massage addresses postural misalignment and compensatory movement patterns, which are often the cause of chronic conditions, pain, and reduced mobility.
PHYSICAL FITNESS & MAINTENANCE
Remedial exercises, postural realignment, and conditioning training are necessary components in optimum movement patterns. Sports Massage works alongside these components using soft tissue methods to realign muscular fibres and improve muscle activation. Poor functional control in movement can lead to musculoskeletal problems. Sports Massage targets muscle imbalances and postural dysfunction to improve and maintain good soft tissue health which transcends to body movement patterns.
There are many benefits to Sports Massage techniques influencing the physiological and physical health of the muscles and their ability to repair, recover, and strengthen.
Sports Massage methods help to maintain one’s physical health with in-depth and focused soft tissue techniques.
- Reduces muscular tension
- Reduces stress in stimulating the parasympathetic system
- Increase mobility and flexibility by reducing muscle adhesions and realigning muscle fibres
- Increases local circulation, flushing tissue with fresh nutrients, aiding the removal of waste
REMEDIAL & POSTURAL HEALTH
Through targeting muscular tension and dysfunction, Sports Massage addresses postural misalignment and compensatory movement patterns which are often the cause of chronic pain and dysfunction.
- Improves postural alignment
- Increases mobility
- Alleviates pain
- Increases one’s ability to undertake daily activities and tasks
- Helps to prevent the risk of injury
INJURY & REHABILITATION
Sports massage is a vital component of rehabilitation working with sub-acute and chronic stages of the soft tissue repair.
- Improves local circulation aiding recovery and repair of damaged tissue
- Reduces risk of further Injury
- Alleviates pain
- Breaks down scar tissue and adhesions
- Realigns and strengthens muscle fibre
SPORTS & TRAINING PERFORMANCE
By working with soft tissue at a physical and physiological level, Sports Massage techniques repairs and prepares the muscle fibres for optimum performance in training and on competition day.
- Improves performance
- Aids effective strength training
- Removes muscle adhesions and restrictions which limits range of movement
- Increases the rate of recovery by encouraging blood circulation to the affected area
- Stimulates inhibited muscles in increasing tone and strength
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum, is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
INCREASED TISSUE PERMEABILITY
Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscle to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise a well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath of fascia that surrounds the muscle releasing any tension or pressure build up.
BREAK DOWN SCAR TISSUE
Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma an can affect muscle, tendons, and ligaments. This can lead to inflexibile tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
IMPROVE TISSUE ELASTICITY
Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic, and one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
OPENS MICRO CIRCULATION
Massage does increase blood flow to the tissues, but so does exercise. Massage also opens or dilates blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
Tension and waste produces in muscles can often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the bodies endorphins.
Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching. Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.
Stroking: stroking techniques is where gentle touch used at the start or end of treatment, or as a break between harder techniques, is used to soften and relax muscles, increasing blood flow and decompressing at a physiological level.
Deep tissue massage: deep tissue techniques reach and loosen deep muscles that may be tense and stiff from an injury or poor posture. Deep massage increases the delivery of blood flow to these muscles removing any toxins that have built up.
Kneading: kneading techniques uses circular techniques in smaller areas and can help to break up scar tissue and stretch tight muscles increasing their range of movement.
Frictions: friction techniques are smaller, deeper movements of the thumbs or fingers which break down scar tissue and improve circulation of the area. Frictions are commonly used for sporting injuries, helping to reduce pain and encourage the healing process.
Meet Sophie Barrett MSc, BA (Hons), Dip, CertHE
I am a qualified Counselling Psychotherapist, accredited member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). As an accredited member I am recognise as having achieved a high standard of knowledge, experience and development in counselling and psychotherapy through my accredited MSc qualification as well as a through a separate rigorous application and assessment process within the BACP. As a BACP accredited member I receive supervision when in practice and am bound by the BACP Ethical Framework.
I am a qualified Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) registered Pilates andPre and Postnatal Pilates instructor and a Level 4 Sports Massage Therapist with membership of the Association of Soft Tissue Therapists. REPS is an independent public register which recognises the qualifications and expertise of health-enhancing exercise instructors in the UK which provides a system of regulation for instructors and trainers to ensure that they meet the National Occupational Standards. All professionals on the Register are appropriately qualified and have the knowledge, competence and skills to perform their role effectively.