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What is Sports Massage?

The following are frequently asked questions that I get asked a lot. Click on any question to jump directly to it, or scroll to read all questions & answers.

This is not medical information and is presented for informational purposes only.
  1. What exactly is Sports Massage?

  2. What are the benefits of Sports Massage for an athlete?

  3. Will Sports Massage help my injury?

  4. How often should I get a Sports Massage?

  5. Will one single Sports Massage “fix” my problems?

  6. Why is it important my therapist is an athlete?

  7. I just need to “decompress” after a stressful week, so I don’t want a deep massage. Do you provide that?

  8. What is lactic acid build-up and how does Sports Massage help with that?

  9. Is Sports Massage painful?

  10. I have a big race tomorrow. Should I get a deep Sports Massage just before it?

  11. Are there times that I shouldn’t get a Sports Massage?


What exactly is Sports Massage?

Sports Massage is a style of treatment that addresses the particular needs of athletes. Sports Massage is a special form of massage and is typically used before, during, and after athletic events, as well as off-season, pre-season and post-season massage. The purpose of the sports massage is to prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, relieve swelling, reduce muscle tension, promote flexibility and prevent injuries. Sports Massage utilises a mixture of techniques ranging from Swedish, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular Technique and Myofacial Release. The final ingredient is a I understand the demands that your sport has on your body, and how do address those demands with Sports Massage


The techniques – explained:

Muscle Energy Technique – hugely effective by using your own movements to improve the muscle(s) in question

Soft Tissue Release – most effective on restricted muscle fibres that may have been injured

Neuro Muscular Technique – I generally use this technique on the shoulders and the gluteal area due to it’s effectiveness on clients

Friction – this technique is great on scar tissue which has generally been damaged by an injury

Positional Release – this is most effective on chronically painful issues, by putting you into the position that is most comfortable and working from that position


What are the benefits of Sports Massage for an athlete?

Some of the most exciting benefits of Sports Massage are: fewer injuries, helps recovery from injury, restored flexibility and range of motion, removal of lactic acid build-up, faster workout recovery, reducing feelings of stress, and maintaining the body in better condition.

Will Sports Massage help my injury?

Yes. Sports massage is proven to reduce recovery time, sometimes dramatically, by shortening the time it takes for injuries to heal, and makes the after-effects “better”. A short list of benefits are:

  • Shortens the time it takes for an injury to heal
  • Helps to reduce swelling and edema
  • Helps to form soft, pliable scar tissue
  • Maintains or increases range of motion
  • Eliminates splinting in associated muscle tissue
  • Locates and deactivates “trigger points” that form as a result of the original trauma
  • Helps get the athlete back into training sooner with less chance of re-injury


How often should I get a Sports Massage?

That depends on several factors such as training volume and intensity, whether or not you have chronic pain or acute injury and other factors. For some athletes, a weekly massage gives huge results. Other athletes only get an occasional Sports Massage if they’re in pain. The best way to reduce the effects of hard training is with regular Sports Massage. We suggest you try a series Sports Massages to see how you feel when the positive effects accumulate. Then you’ll be able to decide how often you need a Sports Massage. However, it is a fact that even getting massaged once a month regularly has long lasting positive impact.

Will one single Sports Massage “fix” my problems?

Sometimes yes. If you have a tight painful neck and shoulder complex you can expect to come away from a Sports Massage experiencing a lot of relief, at least for a while. But it probably took you months or years to get that way. It’s not reasonable to expect permanent relief from an hour session of Sports Massage. The effects of Sports Massage are very much like the effects of athletic training. Your first bike ride won’t turn you into a Tour de France Champion, but a consistent training program will turn you into a competitive cyclist. So it is with Sports Massage. Consistent Sports Massage can offer very positive results to chronic issues and painful conditions. I am experienced with the issues seen in modern sports and athletics.

Why is it important my therapist is an athlete?

I feel it is important that sports therapists are also athletes because it gives us an understanding of the issues that you, the athlete, are facing. Would you hire a personal trainer that had never lifted weights? Or use a triathlon coach that had never raced? It only makes sense that you receive a Sports Massage from someone who has been where you’ve been. I understand what bad cycling posture can feel like, how it feels to run with tight hamstrings or how an elbow niggle can annoy you when playing squash. I’ve been there!

I just need to “decompress” after a stressful week, so I don’t want a deep massage. Do you provide that?

Yes, by all means. You get the massage that you ask for. Not only do I provide the various forms of Sports Massage, we also are fluent in Swedish, pregnancy and relaxation massage.

What is lactic acid build-up and how does Sports Massage help with that?

Lactic acid is a constituent part of the cellular metabolic cycle. During strenuous anaerobic exercise the levels of lactic acid can rise to high levels, causing fatigue and a burning feeling in the muscle tissues. The high levels of lactate can linger longer than most of us would wish for. One way to diminish that burning feeling in our muscles is with a recovery style Sports Massage. The long strokes of a recovery Sports Massage aids circulation. The stagnant blood and fluids are “pumped” toward the heart and liver. Freshly oxygenated blood rushes into the muscle tissue, giving a refreshed relaxed feeling to sore muscles. After a post-workout Sports Massage, recovery from a gruelling workout or training session is much more brief.

Is Sports Massage painful?

No, not always. I am mindful so will always work to your individual capacity for pressure. For example if you’ve just run a marathon. I know you can’t take a lot of pressure on your legs. If I see you wincing or resisting the strokes, I know to back off. But sometimes individuals develop knots, contractures, or trigger points that require stronger bodywork that may cause discomfort. If this is the case, I’ll let you know what’s coming and adjust to your pain threshold, making the session as productive as possible, as pain free as can be.

I have a big race tomorrow. Can I get a Sports Massage?

Yes! There are different kinds of Sports Massages. If your big race or game is within 42 hours, you will receive pre-race massage rather than Deep work. Deep work is reserved for conditions and issues that call for it. It’s typical to be sore for a couple of days (up to 42 hours) after a Deep Sports Massage.  A pre-event Sports Massage would be the right choice before a race. Pre-event Sports Massage boosts circulation and flexibility. It leaves muscles relaxed but ready for action. Pre-event massage can help prevent muscle and tendon injuries and improve performance. While Post-event massage is given after your event and will flush out lactic acid, reduce muscle soreness and promote faster healing.

Are there times that I shouldn’t get a Sports Massage?

Yes. Contraindications are conditions when you should not be massaged. The most common is soon after an injury or inflammation; usually the first 72 hours. Massage is only recommended after the swelling and pain begin to diminish. A partial list of contraindications are: fever, vascular conditions, severe heart disease, inflammation, abrasions, cuts, recent surgery, infectious diseases, certain cancers, fractures etc. There are too many possible conditions to list so please just alert me to any medical condition or injury before a massage begins. Some conditions are localised so massage may take place except in the affected area. Always consult with your doctor prior to starting any new program after an injury or surgery.