We are pretty happy that Technique now offers sports massage as one of its services 🙌. Unfortunately there are no appointments available as our physio staff have taken all the slots. Just joking.. ..sort of 😉.
Let’s introduce Chloe Crisp, our lovely Sports Massage and Remedial Therapist who is based at our brand new Bank location – in The Foundry gym. Chloe trained at, and qualified from, the North London School of Sport Massage, one of the UK’s foremost schools. She has a BTEC Diploma, Level 5, the highest qualification in this field, so it goes without saying – she is good.
We thought the best way to introduce Chloe would be to ask her some questions around sports massage. Here goes.
What is the difference between a massage for relaxation and a sport massage?
Relaxation massages does as it says on the tin, aids the patient to obtain relaxation, reduce stress and break down some basic knots. Sounds lovely, and it is, but it is limited – the therapist follows a set routine and will not be looking for causes of your discomforts.
Sports massage has all the benefits of a relaxation massage. It promotes relaxation and reduces stress – but on top of this the therapist will also be aiming to not only relieve any of the client’s pain/discomfort but also to find the cause and to treat the issue. The aim is to prevent the pain occurring again.
Is a sports massage only relevant if you regularly participate in sport?
Sports massage is great for athletes of all sports; however it is often stereotyped to only be for those who play sport. This isn’t true. It is for anyone who has soft tissues (muscles), and therefore FOR EVERYONE 🙂.
Sports massage can help relieve pain and promote healing and recovery. The therapist can also advise the client on how to prevent the injury reoccurring. A good example of this is office dwellers, who spend 8 hours or so sitting at a desk on a computer. This is not a natural position for the body and can often cause aches and pains in the back and shoulders. Another example is parents with young children – they often get aches and pains from picking their child up and carrying them (usually on the same side of their body) and this can lead to imbalances. Sports massage can help normalise muscles to enable good functionality and prevent compensations building and injuries occurring.
What are the key benefits of sports massage?
Here are just a few….
What are the most common areas of the body that you treat?
This can depend on the type of client. Office workers (as mentioned above) tend to have more issues with shoulders, whereas a squash player could have more issues with their legs. This summer, in particular, I have been treating a lot of sailors, all of whom had upper back, shoulder and neck issues – so the common areas of the body I treat are often (sports) season based.
How often should someone get a massage?
If they have an injury then the regularity of the massage will depend on this, and also its recovery.
For a MOT massage (which I recommend to everyone in all walks of life) I would suggest having a massage every 3-6 months. The main aim of these MOT massages is for injury prevention. It keeps your soft tissues healthy, reduces the risk of injury occurring and also addresses the little niggles before they become BIG niggles. It is common for people to let niggles go, waiting for them to build until they become too painful and start to hinder the ability to perform daily tasks. If a client gets to this stage and then comes to see me it can often require multiple sessions to fix the problem. If they had come in for a massage when the niggle started, they could have prevented the discomfort and also the time spent in recovery (not to mention the money saved on the extra sessions needed!).
You are level 5 qualified (the highest level) which is great as it brings a high level of expertise to The Foundry. What is the difference between a sports massage therapist with level 3 qualifications compared to level 5?
Level 3 can be seen as an equivalent to a school GCSE, a therapist can provide routine massage treatment for sport, relaxation, beauty or similar. Whereas a Level 5 can be compared to a university under-graduate. Only at this level will you learn assessment skills, postural and movement, how to treat with advanced soft tissue skills and how to implement rehabilitation programs for a wide range of injuries and pathologies.
As a Level 5 qualified therapist I use a wide range of these skills to help my clients reach their goals, whether that be to recover from an ankle sprain and get back to playing sport, or being able to perform simple daily routine tasks pain free.
The beauty of working in the Technique Physio clinic, is that if there is a client I feel needs further assistance, I can refer them to the amazing Physiotherapist in the next-door treatment room 🙂. And, with The Foundry upstairs, if I think a client needs some training to build muscle strength for injury prevention there are plenty of amazing PTs on hand who will be able to show them the right ways.
Is there such a thing as too much pressure, or should you take as much as you can stand?
Yes! It is a strong misconception that if you aren’t in pain it’s not a ‘real’ sports massage. Absolutely not true. Think of a pain scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain. The massage therapist should be working at a maximum level of 6 – 7. Any more then this and your muscles will start fighting back, contracting and resisting the therapist. This could cause more damage than good. You should not get bruised! If you feel like trying to squirm away from the therapist’s hands you should let them know it is too much for you!
Do many clients fall asleep on the massage table? 😴 Does that make things difficult for the you as the therapist?
I have had a couple of clients fall asleep. Sometimes it’s nice and it is a good indication that the client has been able to relax and feel at ease. However, it can have its restrictions. Therapists often ask clients to change positions to allow different angles of access to muscles, which can be difficult if they are taking a nap :).
Is there ever a circumstance or injury where massage should not be performed?
Reasons for not performing massage are called contraindications. They can be local (only affecting an area of the body), or global (affecting the whole body).
Global contraindications could be medical conditions such as DTV (Deep Vein Thrombosis), or if a client had being drinking alcohol. In both these cases a massage should not be performed at all.
Local contraindications can mean that certain areas of the body cannot be massaged. You can still have a massage, but these ‘out of bound’ areas need to be avoided. For instance if a client has a broken ankle the rest of the body can be treated with massage. This would actually be beneficial to the client as it could help to minimise compensation patterns which may arise due to walking with crutches. I would just avoid the broken ankle.
If an injury is in its acute phase of healing massage should not be applied to the injury site. The acute phase usually lasts for 3 days from when the injury occurred, however it can depend on the severity of the injury as to how long the acute phase actually is.
There are also other circumstances where massage can be restrictive, such as if you are pregnant. In this instance you should only see a therapist who has proper training in pregnancy massage.
Why do therapists always advise to drink lots of water after the massage is over?
Clients are advised to drink of water after massages for a number of reasons and benefits – but mainly because massage has been known to increase the body’s circulation and also encourage the movement of lymph fluids around the body. This fluid in the lymphatic system helps to remove waste and toxins from the body. Water is required to help keep these systems flowing and prevents them getting sluggish. More water means better flow and more efficient removal and transport of the toxins from the muscle and to the organs which will remove them from the body.
There you have it – the low down on sports massage. With all this knowledge we think it is a great time for you to book your sports massage appointment with Chloe at Technique in The Foundry, Bank today!
Sports Massage & Remedial Therapist