Your Health: Are You Feeling Kneady?

Sports massages have multiple health benefits
Sports massages have multiple health benefits

The term ‘massage’ originates from the Greek word, ‘Massein’ meaning ‘to knead’. It is also linked to the Arabic word, ‘mash’ which means to ‘press softly’. Both aptly describe the treatment, which is now used in healthcare, beauty therapy and sports.

Massage therapy involves the rubbing and kneading of soft tissues and muscles in the human body. This is to promote healing and enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are more than 250 variations of massage and bodywork therapies used today. Despite the differences between each modality, all of them involve touch and manipulation techniques to move muscles and body tissue. The aim is to relieve stress, tension, pain and a whole host of other ailments.

At Physio and Therapies we offer a wide variety of massage therapies, but in this article we are focussing on Sports and Remedial massage.

Remedial Massage is effective for preventing and treating muscle injuries and pain. It involves using deep tissue techniques to remove blockages and damaged cells. This helps to reduce recovery time and encourage healing.

Remedial massage is based on the fact that soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia) respond to touch. Pain is often myofascial (soft tissue) in origin. Trigger points (sensitive points in muscles, which radiate or refer pain to various parts of the body) can mimic many conditions. As well as moving our joints, muscles stabilise them and provide armour for the internal organs, so minor problems in muscles can cause more pain than most people realise. For example most headaches originate in the muscles of the neck and head and much abdominal and pelvic pain can be caused by trigger points in the abdominal, back and pelvic muscles. Also low back pain and sciatic pain are far more likely to have a muscular cause than to be caused by vertebral disc problems.

Remedial massage can also be used to remove scar tissue from old injuries, which can help to reduce the chances of a repeat injury.

Sports massage is designed to help prevent and treat injuries that can occur as a result of overexertion or poor training exercises but remember that any physical activity can lead to the build-up of stress and tension in the body’s tissues.

Sports massage therapists will use a range of deep and intense techniques to restore mobility to an injured muscle tissue. Stretching, compression, toning and trigger point release techniques similar to acupressure may be used. Those who seek out sports massage will find it can assist them through all stages of training. It can also provide recovery and prevention before and after competitions.

Sports massage can also benefit individuals who don’t play sport. It is particularly helpful for those who are experiencing muscle pain and tension as a result of stress. It works by improving circulation, boosting lymphatic flow and helping flush out metabolic waste.

Here’s how Sports & Remedial Massage can help:

Increased local circulation removing muscle waste (like squeezing out a dirty sponge) and restoring nutrition.

Improved quality and quantity of training, as well as improved recovery.

Early identification of potential problems, feeling for changes in the muscle leading to injury prevention advice (posture/training adjustments)

Improved self-awareness, by fine-tuning training and postural improvement.

Improved flexibility and better movement technique.

Promoting relaxation with physical and psychological benefits, leading to enhanced performance and greater physical enjoyment of one’s sport and active lifestyle.

Following an injury massage can break down scar tissue and adhesions, release excessive muscle tension, promote circulation, reduce symptomatic pain, prevent secondary problems and improve the rate of healing.

Helps a full and speedy recovery.

My name is Chris Halliday and I have worked at Physio & Therapies for over 10 years as a Sports Massage Therapist. My clients leave the treatment couch feeling energised and relieved that their sports and work induced aches and pains have been released by trigger point therapy and then massaged away. I also help them to get an insight into how their body performs, or doesn’t perform, through education and demonstration and I show them exercises and movement correction so that they can learn how to take care of themselves between treatments. I am available for appointments throughout the day, evening and at weekends. To book a consultation please call our team on 01706 819464.