Sports Massage Questions


What exactly is Sports Massage?

Sports Massage is a style of bodywork 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, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries. Sports Massage utilizes a mixture of techniques ranging from Swedish, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular Therapy, Structural Integration (similar to Rolfing®), Myofacial Release, and Facilitated Stretching. The final ingredient is a therapist that understands the demands that your sport has on your body, and how do address those demands with Sports Massage.

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”. Sports Massage reduces the swelling and edema associated with soft tissue injuries. After a serious injury, Sports Massage helps form strong pliable scar tissue instead of the usual random stiff scar tissue, so that range of motion and tissue extensibility are maintained. 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 reinjury.

Will Sports Massage really make me stronger or faster, or increase my performance?

Yes, in an indirect way. Sport Massage tweaks your body to a state of higher efficiency so that you can get more speed, more strength, more performance. Sports Massage breaks down muscle adhesions, relieves knots, increases range of motion, decreases pain, increases circulation, stretches tight muscles, reduces stiffness and generally reduces the negative after effects of hard training. This means you can train harder than you ever have before. You can excel to higher levels than you thought possible.

What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?
Before the session starts, you will have to fill out a confidential health history form and discuss the goals for the massage, such as relaxation, de-stressing, or pain reduction. After the assessment, you will be left alone in the room to undress to your level of comfort. You’ll then get onto the massage table with the sheets draped over you. When you are ready, I will enter the room and begin the massage by becoming grounded and connecting with you, and then commence with the bodywork. When the massage is over I will leave the room for you to re-dress in private.

Do I have to be completely undressed during a massage?
You only have to undress to your level of comfort. For a full body massage, most get completely undressed. However, if you are more comfortable leaving your underwear on, that’s fine. You will be on the massage table with sheets covering you at all times. Only the part of your body being worked on will be exposed. It is always your choice on how much clothing to take off or leave on. You will always be draped for your privacy and comfort level.

Does massage therapy hurt?
This depends on the type of massage and the particular physical issues you may have. There is no sharp demarcation between a “regular” massage and deep tissue work. Even a gentle massage can be made more beneficial by including deep work, and a good deep tissue massage should include a considerable time spent on relaxing and nurturing strokes. With that being said, no therapist should operate under the “No pain-no gain” fallacy, so please don’t think that it is necessary to endure high levels of pain in order to get the full benefit. Sometimes working with an injured area might be painful, but even that should be within a good tolerance level. It is very important for you to let me know if I’m using too much pressure or not enough. Open communication is key to getting your best massage.

What do I do during a massage therapy session?
Make yourself comfortable. If I want you to adjust your position, I will either move you or will ask you to move as needed. Otherwise, change your position at anytime to make yourself more comfortable. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session whereas others prefer to talk. It’s your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.

What if I am ticklish during a massage?
When working on people who are ticklish, I adjust the pressure, depth, and pace of the massage strokes so that you won’t feel tickled. If there are any areas that are just too ticklish, then I simply move on to the next body part.

What if I fall asleep during a massage?
It is not uncommon for many clients to fall asleep on the table during a massage. Remember, I want you to be as relaxed as possible whether the work is light or deep. So if you do fall asleep, consider it a good thing.

What do I wear to a massage therapy session?
Wear whatever you are comfortable in. Most people come in wearing loose clothing such as gym shorts and a t-shirt (especially if they prefer to be massaged through clothing).  Some people that come straight from work like to bring a change of clothes for after the massage, but it’s not necessary. If you have long hair, it is important that you bring a hair tie to make it easier for me to work around your neck and upper back.

When should I not get a massage?
You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or any kind of contagious skin infection. There are many other conditions in which I may need to adapt my techniques (i.e. arthritis or osteoporosis) or avoid an area completely (i.e. cuts or burns). With some conditions it is a good idea to get an approval from your physician before you receive a massage (cancer, certain heart conditions, pregnancy). This doesn’t mean you can’t get a massage, but it’s always better to be on the safe side.

Is there anything I need to do before receiving a massage?
Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your session. During a massage, circulation increases and toxins are released by the muscles and soft tissue. Water helps flush out these toxins and keeps your tissues hydrated. Secondly, please shower before a massage. Not only is it good hygiene, its good manners