I have been qualified to perform sports massage for seven years. I gained my experience through working with the Ospreys RFC for three seasons, working with players such as Tommy Bowe, Filo Tiatia, Adam Jones, Duncan Jones, Mike Phillips, Ryan Jones and James Hook.
I am currently working with Swansea City AFC. This will be my sixth season with them, working with the first team squad and the Under 21s. Massage is available for these athletes every day if they need it, it helps to maintain the flexibility of the muscles, reduce muscle soreness and keep the body in good condition.
Sports massage basically involves the manipulation of soft tissue – skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia (connective tissue fibres). It assists in correcting problems and imbalances in soft tissue that can be caused from repetitive stresses or physical activity. Sports massage can release muscle tension and pain, aid in the removal of waste products such as lactic acid, reduce muscle soreness after exercise, reduce muscle spasm and improve posture and flexibility.
Sports massage is a great massage to have even if you don’t take part in sporting activity. I have worked with people who sit at desks all day and suffer with back problems due to the repetitiveness of the job and their posture whilst seated. I have worked with people who do physical jobs and tend to suffer from joint stiffness and aches and pains all round. It’s just a deeper type of massage that you should feel the benefit from relatively quickly.
There are a number of massage techniques that I will include in a treatment, such as:
- Effleurage– which is used to warm up the tissues and introduce the therapists touch to the client. Petrissage or kneading- used for stretching muscle fibres helping with relaxation.
- Frictions– which can be used for deeper and sometimes more painful movements aimed at breaking down lesions, separating muscle fibres and breaking down scar tissue.
- Tapotement – which has a stimulating effect to the skin and tissues.
- Trigger point therapy – which is a bodywork technique that involves the applying of pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body.
- Soft Tissue Release – which is a technique for stretching soft tissues, primarily muscles, fascia and tendons.
- Stretching (active or passive) – to improve the flexibility of the muscles.
I hope this introduction gives more of an insight to sports massage and the experience I have which will leave you in good hands.