Sports & Remedial Massage, often also referred to as Deep Tissue Massage is by far the most popular form of massage with my clients.
I am lucky that I trained with The London School of Sports Massage (LSSM) under Mel Cash, one of the most respected schools and teachers in the country before going on to study many other forms of bodywork such as Myofascial Release and advanced deep tissue techniques with internationally recognised teachers such as Art Riggs.
Since I completed my training at LSSM I have completed well over 500 hours of further training in massage and therapeutic related skills including acupuncture that is way beyond the required amount of professional development annually stipulated but the organisations I am a member of. But my work is a passion of mine and I am always looking to learn new techniques to help my patients.
One of the benefits of training at such an advanced level is that not only did it give me an excellent grounding in clinical therapeutic massage techniques such as soft tissue release, muscle energy technique and neuromuscular technique to name but a few but it also taught me how to deal with sports related and every day injuries.
Since then I have been able to treat a wide range of sports enthusiasts including boxers, runners, rugby players, golfers, yoga practitioners and footballers but also people who practice little or no sports at all and ultimately, the basic techniques we use are the same. The only real difference is the context in which we are treating them. For example an ankle injury obtained during competition needs to be approached differently if the athlete is still participating and not able (or in most cases willing!) to rest suitably.
Leading up to and following last years Brighton Marathon, I saw a large number of runners. Some of them had been running for years, others had just started out and were running to raise money for charity and so their injuries or problems were a little different. Both groups however benefited from regular sports and deep tissue massage before and after the run. Initially I helped prepare them and their bodies and afterwards to reduce scar tissue and injuries sustained during such a long run.
Luckily as a graduate if LSSM, I was able to register with The Institute for Sports and Remedial Massage (ISRM) which means that not only can my patients (and their GP’s) recognise my level of skill and training but in many cases it means that their private medical insurance may cover my treatments. Of course this is dependant on the wording of their policy but I have certainly seen an increase over the last 12-months of patients coming to me exclusively as I am one of only of few therapist in my area who are recognised by insurance companies who offer cover for massage.
If you have never had a sports and remedial or deep tissue massage before, there are a few things to consider.
This style of massage is therapeutic and clinical and not really a soft relaxing treatmentthough some people do seem to prefer the deeper style and find it relaxing. Generally though expect it to be a cooperative process, as I will be asking questions about pressure etc during the treatment. Also, you may be asked to move around the couch during the treatment and may not exclusively be laying on your back or front. For this reason, it’s often worth wearing shorts (and a sports bra for ladies) or simply if you are comfortable remain in your underwear so that you feel comfortable when moved around the couch. These styles of massage often include stretches, which are always done with your cooperation, thus wearing suitable clothing will make you feel more comfortable especially when working your hips or hamstrings. Deeper pressure, which is always applied sensitively, may still leave you feeling a little tender the next day and this is normal. I always encourage my patients to feed back during their session if they are feeling uncomfortable and I give them aftercare advice which if followed helps them recover quickly and comfortably. Do remember though that if you are looking for a more soothing traditional style of massage that techniques such as Swedish may be more to your liking and will still be generally therapeutic and beneficial.