FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I don't do sports. Is a sports massage not right for me?
Sports massage is not just for sporty types! Sport Massage is for everyone.
The most common complaints are people with back aches, stiff necks and shoulders. Mainly caused posture, work activities, long driving hours, sleep issues or stress.
Complaints are typically caused by office based jobs or jobs that involve heavy physical activity or lifting. This includes mothers carrying a child or bags and strain caused by household activities.
I've heard that Sports Massage can be really painful, is this true?
Yes and No. You will often hear people associating Sports Massage with 'pain' and you even hear some people say 'I had a sports massage - it was GREAT, I couldn't walk or talk for 3 days, but it was brilliant!"
Sports Massage does not HAVE to be sore to be effective!
If you have a particularly problematic, overused or tight area of your body then working on it MAY be painful. However that does not mean that it MUST be painful to be effective!
My approach is not to make the massage hurt just for the sake of it, but to ensure that the desired effect, healing and recuperation of muscles can be achieved.
The lines of communication will always be open during your treatment and pressure and pain levels discussed.
What is the difference between Sports Massage and Swedish or Deep Tissue Massage?
Sports massage is a deeper tissue massage than a Swedish massage. The techniques applied will begin similarily, beginning with gentler effreulage stroke to warm up muscles before deeper techniques are applied.
Unlike the more general swedish massage, in sports massage there is no set routine, it is entirely down to the client as to what treatment is required. For example, specifically back, neck and shoulders or predominatly legs and gluteals etc. The massage maybe more sparodic as we move about the body working on muscles that need focused treatment rather than a more general and balanced 'once over'.
This is my first Sports Massage Treatment - what should I expect?
For the first appointment, you will be required to fill in a client consultation form outlining any medical conditions, doctors details, plus any contraindictaions etc. If you have any doubts of any conditions prior to treatment - please consult your GP.
You will likely undergo a postural assessment and some range of movement tests. So it is best to bring a pair of shorts, and for ladies - a vest top or similar. This allows visibility of alignment of hips, shoulders and spine etc.
It is NOT advisable to administer any painkillers in the 2 hrs prior to treatment so that a safe amount of pressure can be used. It is advisable to bring a bottle of water along too - to begin rehydration to help flush out toxins after the treatment.
My friend had a massage said they felt even worse the next day, why?
Massage is of great benefit to ALL. Some clients will have one treatment and leave feeling on top of the world! But sometimes, when pain is acute and built up over a long time, it takes longer to fix. Sometimes it may take several treatments to really get break down all that tension.
It's not uncommon to feel sore/stiff the next day and even have light brusiing in some cases. Its often the day AFTER that, that the benefits really start to feel apparent. Allow 24 - 48 hours to feel the full effects.
Take a hot bath to complement the effects of your massage and it is really important to drink plenty of water to continue to flush out the toxins in the muscles. Both of these actions will work to reduce post-massage soreness.
Can I workout after my massage?
I do not recommend doing any intense physical activity after a massage. Heading to the gym, or going for run are not the best options post treatment. Your muscles have just been given a workout (especially if you’ve had deep tissue work), and need time to recover.
With the muscles being lengthened and worked, you run the risk of injury if you then go on to do an intense workout.
You’ve just taken time out to pamper your body, make sure you give yourself the chance to enjoy that feeling. You can go back to your training regimen the next day.
Do I need consent from my Doctor?
As part of the initial assessment any local or general contra-indications will be identified or other medical issues will be brought to the attention of the therapist. In the event of anything preventing treatment, Medical Consent will then be advised before proceeding.
What is a contraindictation?
Local contra-indications are things like bruises, recent scar tissue, sprained ankle etc. And wouldn't prevent treatment - caution will be taken to avoid the area.
General contra-indications are more severe and treatment can only take place with Medical consent from your GP or other Health Practitioner. Examples of this are high blood pressure, pregnancy or colds, virus and flu.
Can you treat injuries?
Rehabilitative Sports Massage is mainly used post-injury to reduce pain and muscle trauma. Although I am unable to work on the injury itself, what often happens is other muscles surrounding or opposing the affected area will overcompensate and become weakened and overused. By working on the muscles around the injury you can prevent secondary injuries occuring and help speed up recovery time.
If you are dealing with a serious injury and do not have a diagnosis, deinately go and see a doctor first. Massage Therapists do not diagnose. Once a diagnosis is given, your therapist can work with that information and use massage as a helpful tool in recovery.
I want to incorporate massage into my physical training programme. What types of treatments can I have?
The type of treatment can vary depending on what the requirement is :-
MAINTAINANCE SPORTS MASSAGE
This is massage which is mixed in with your usual training and competing program and can benefit by reducing the chance of injury, keep muscles supple and flexible, delay or prevent the onset of the dreaded DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) duce the aches and pains you might normally get in training.
REHABILITATIVE SPORTS MASSAGE is mainly used post-injury to reduce pain and muscle trauma. Although I'm unable to work on the injury itself, what often happens is other muscles surrounding or opposing the affected area will overcompensate and become weakened and overused. By working on and around the particular injury you can prevent secondary injuries occuring and help speed up recovery time.
PRE-EVENT SPORTS MASSAGE
This uses faster techniques to try and wake-up and stimulate the muscles that are going to be used. Typically shorter in duration, the aim is promote blood flow and open the blood vessels so that the muscles will warm up and begin to bring fresh nutrients and oxygen to the muscles. This can play a big part in preventing injuries caused by going into an event 'cold' or 'straight off the blocks'
This can be up to 48 Hours after an event. Tired, stiff and sore muscles caused by working out and the breaking down of muscle tissue due to training and exercise will often not appreciate the deeper techniques used in a general sports massage. The aim is 'milk' the muscles and drain out all the waste products into the lymph ducts and promote circulation to rapidly improve the recovery time.
Incorporate massage into your training - "Massage isn't a luxury. It's an investment."
How often should I get a sports massage?
For clients that have no immediate issues (that they are aware of) – It is recommend to have a massage to maintain/improve the level of tension in the body at least once a month. A monthly massage keeps the body in optimum condition and helps keep you energised and feeling loose. We call this a maintainence massage.
For people that exercise regularly – 3-4 times a week, we would strongly recommend having a sports massage every 2-4 weeks.
If you are having treatment for a particular aliment, have a lot of tightness in your muscles, with symptoms of pain or niggles – this could be as a result of stress, sitting at a desk for long hours in a stressful job, or exercising very hard or too much. I would typically recommend coming back either weekly or at least every other week until the tension in the muscles starts to ease.
This process can take a few sessions. Once the condition has improved the massage frequency can be reduced to once a month – to keep the body niggle free and prevent it going back to its former tight state. Advice on suitable stretches and other home care to complement the treatments will be provided during your session.
What should I wear for my appointment?
For your postural assessment it is best to wear a pair of shorts and for ladies a strappy top or bra. During your massage only parts of the body that are being treated are exposed, the rest of your body will be covered with toweling, but underwear/shorts should be worn at all times. It is advised not to wear anything which may be subject to any stain/tinting from oils or creams.
You can choose to get undressed to your own comfort level but please understand how this limits the effectiveness of your treatment. If you choose to keep your clothes on it makes it very difficult to work in that area. Often the problem causing the pain or ache you have may not even be in the muscle that hurts. It can be an issue with another muscle nearby or an entirely different muscle group. (eg. often back pain is caused by tightness in the glutes and hamstrings)
Massage for the Upper Body
When you have an ache or pain in your upper or lower back, the ideal situation is for you to completely remove your top. For gentlemen, this shouldn’t be as much of an issue as for ladies. In either case, if the lower back is the issue, then a loose top that can be lifted above the muscle in question will be fine. For issues that are higher up, if you are comfortable taking off your shirt, that is great. If not, a sports bra or one that allows us to access the aching muscle will be fine.
Massage for the Lower Body
Generally, if the lower part of your body is to be treated, underwear is best if you are comfortable with this, or wearing a pair of loose-fitting stretchy shorts. If they are too tight, like cycling shorts, it can cause an issue with the massage as they can restrict access to the higher part of your leg and glutes. Any clothes worn should be easily moved out of the way as any massage on your gluteals, thighs or calves, will be more beneficial if we can see and get to the muscles.
Specific Clothing Rules
Ideally, please wear as little around the area to be treated as possible. And don’t forget, if you must wear something:
• Make sure it is easily removable
• You can pull it up or out of the way for treatment
• We can observe the muscles you are having trouble with as well as those surrounding them
• Make sure it is thin and/or loose fitting
•You may need to remove some items jewellery.
How should I prepare for my massage?
COME IN HYDRATED
Dehydration can stiffen fascias and muscles which translates to a more painful massage.
This doesn't mean chug a litre of water minutes before your appointment (or you're going to get pretty uncomfortable halfway through!) Try drinking plenty of fluids for the few days before and after your massage and your muscles will feel less achy and respond better to your treatment.
Don't drink booze before your massage appointment. You will feel awful!! If you know you are going to have a particularly heavy night the day before you appointment it may be better to consider a more convenient time.
It is NOT advisable to administer any painkillers in the 2 hrs prior to treatment so that a safe amount of pressure can be used.
What should I do after my massage to get the best from my treatment?
Again hydration is going to be key here. It is advisable to bring a bottle of water along - to begin rehydration to help flush out toxins after the treatment.
Avoid alcohol - The reason for this is because massage will raise core temperature by the stimulation of circulation, muscular systems and increased lymphatic function. Drinking alcohol also raises internal core temperature so the combination of the two is NOT recommended.
Don't schedule a workout post massage, let your body process what has happened. Your muscles have just been given a workout. Eat, drink water and rest.
You can amplify the effects by soaking in a bath later in the day to help continue the cleansing process and offset any soreness. Add epsom salts and your on to a winner.