Body Work/Sports Massage
You will have heard of the term, sports massage. It is a widely accepted complement to fitness training, hence the reference to “sports" massage. However, even without regular fitness training there are very significant benefits from a regular body work/sports massage.
Whether you are an athlete, occasional exerciser, desk worker or stay-at-home parent you will experience tight shoulder and muscles, aches and pains, and postural issues at some point in your life.
Deep tissue body work/sports massage can help ease away tension, help you pinpoint the area responsible for bad posture and provide relief from chronic muscle pain.
Body work can unlock your body’s potential and solve muscular problems that block your physical progress. Combine this with targeted exercise to strengthen deep postural muscles and live your life free from pain!
Every therapist develops their own way of working. I am heavily influenced by Chinese medical training so my paradigm of using this therapy has developed over the years and is now a much wider and more fulsome therapy that when I first trained many years ago.
If you come to me for body work/sports massage, you need to be open to what I can bring you - along with some hands on massage with herbal remedies, I will likely use cupping to release tight tissue, acupuncture where there is weakness or pain and may suggest a course of herbal treatment if I deem it necessary for injury or long standing conditions. If I was to recommend a course of herbs, you would need to book a herbal consulation as a separate therapy.
Using these methods together is a wonderful and effective treatment for athletes and everyone else besides.
Some of the tools I use
Soft tissues suffer trauma from overuse, adaptive shortening, postural imbalance, strains, stress or nutritional deficits. Such trauma leaves the soft tissues in a state of involuntary spasm, leading to pain and a restriction of movement. This spasm causes a ‘trigger point’ to form in the soft tissue structure which will feel like a knot. Deactivation of these trigger points will:
- Reduce local and referred pain patterns
- Restore muscle imbalances
- Increase soft tissue mobility
- Improve circulation
- Provide a local and general relaxation
- Increase flexibility of the affected muscle
- Improve range of movement (ROM)
- Release soft tissue
Please be aware different tools are availbe to me as a Chinese Medical Practitioner and I often use cupping, acupuncture and herbal remedies in my treatments for Trigger Point issues.
This is an advanced and very specific sports massage technique. It’s a combination of stretching and deep friction aimed at stretching a specific muscle. It is commonly used with frictions to:
- Reduce adhesions in soft tissue structures
- Improve local circulation
- Increase functional ROM
- Develop flexibility in tight muscles and muscle groups
- develop Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) stretching
Please be aware I may use different tools such as cupping and guasha to increase micro-circulation.
METs are a form of passive stretching from the world of osteopathic techniques. METs target primarily the soft tissues, although they also help with joint mobilisation. The purpose of METs stretching is to improve a client’s flexibility and range of movement within a joint. The effects are to:
- Release muscle spasms
- Decrease muscle hypertonicity (tension)
- Improve muscle flexibility
- Restore muscle balance
This technique is the application of direct pressure on soft tissues. This manipulate the tissue structure by softening adhesions and restoring the muscle to its full function. Along with Soft Tissue Release, it stretches a very specific area of tissue. Its effects are to:
- Reduce congestion in a local area
- Increase local circulation
- Reduce the effect of scar tissue following injury
- Improve the mobility of soft tissues
Please be aware that I use techniques such as cupping and guasha to achieve local friction.
All about Body Work/Sports Massage
- Enhances sports performance (before, during and after an event)
- Stretches tight muscles for increased flexibility and suppleness
- Pain relief and management
- Helps identify and correct postural problems (along with correct strengthening exercises)
- Releases tension and aids in relaxation
- Improves circulation and lymphatic drainage
- Breaks down old scar tissue and adhesions - it can help with painful or unsightly scars, helping them to shrink and blend into the surrounding tissue.
- Identifies weakness before injury occurs
- Aids recovery after injury
- Improves mobility, posture and physical performance
- Increass flexibility and range of movement
- Improves balance between muscles
- Promotes greater postural awareness
- Improves the speed and quality of soft tissue repair
- Stimulates peripheral nerves i.e. keeps your nervous system healthy
- Increases muscles relaxation so increases your sense of wellbeing
- Reduces the effect of muscle soreness
- Calms the mind and body
- Aids reduction of fat – in conjunction with appropriate exercise
- Help with cramp
- Helps areas that healed inappropriately and now cause pain and dysfunction.
- Stimulates circulation
- Decongests the tissues and improves tissue drainage
- Removes metabolic waste
- Increases the uptake of oxygen and nutrients to the tissue cells
- Increases the rate of tissue repair by improving soft tissue mobility and formation of collagen
The recommended frequency of body work depends on your lifestyle. Someone involved in regular sporting activity will frequently experience microscopic muscle tears from use and recovery.
Body work promotes swifter muscle recovery and therefore improved performance at the next exercise session. Regular bodywork supports optimum muscle function by preventing the occurrence of major injuries such as muscle, tendon or ligament strains and tears.
A good body work session should be performed within your tolerance level so continued communication with me is very important.
It is important to understand what I am trying to achieve, so you can co-operate with the procedure and understand why it feels uncomfortable (if it all).
If muscles are tight, or tissue has healed incorrectly, treatment may feel uncomfortable, but its purpose is always to bring healing and restore proper muscle function.
However, a full treatment session will include times of muscular relaxation which creates a sense of wellbeing.
You will always leave a session with me feeling refreshed and glad you came!
You need to understand why you have bad posture in the first place and then do what you can to eliminate those factors from your life. If you don’t, anything your therapist does in a session will be undone when you return to your normal life.
Sports massage can definitely help release the tight muscles that cause bad posture but you may need to retrain your muscles to maintain correct positioning by doing regular exercises such as Pilates to strengthen your back and core muscles.
I have studied long and hard to understand the body at some depth. The body work I offer integrates Eastern and Western understanding of the structures of the body.
When working on muskular skeletal issues, we are dealing with soft tissue, which includes muscles, ligaments, tendons and skin. These tissues make up around 70% of the body so body work plays a very valuable part in bodily wellbeing.
I will use various skills and techniques to manipulate, stretch, de-tone and release soft tissue, depending on the presenting condition.
If there are joint problems in the spine or hip for example, I am also able to treat these issues with manipulations, acupuncture or herbal medicine.