This is a question I get asked on a daily basis, along with statements like ‘but I don’t do sport !’. Although ‘Sport‘ is in the name there is no need to be a sports person to benefit from this treatment.
The term Sports Massage was coined as it was a therapy originally used to prepare sports men and women for events. It ensured these athletes performed at their best, kept injury at bay and to recovered quickly from training and events. It was not long before people realised that this treatment could help anyone with soft tissue issues (think of your sore back, stiff neck and general aches & pains) and it moved to the mainstream.
SRMT involves a wide variety of techniques that have different effects on the tissues. Many of the techniques involve hands on massage/manipulation of the soft tissue to make a physiological change e.g. lengthening shortened muscles, breaking down scar tissue, releasing trigger points and improving circulation. It also involves techniques that work directly with the Central Nervous System to turn muscles on/off where they have become extremely tight or extremely lax. Nowadays it is not uncommon for your therapist to use tools, tape and more as part of your treatment. All this and it doesn’t stop at muscles, we also focus on tendons, ligaments and fascia to ensure you have full range of motion and a balanced posture to keep you functioning at your best.
The key to the effectiveness of a Soft Tissue Therapist is in their understanding of the anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. It is with this knowledge that they can choose the best techniques to apply to the right parts of the body to get real results. This will mean that your therapist will fully assess you before they begin to ensure they understand the root cause of your problem. We don’t want to turn a tight muscle off it is the only thing keeping you upright!
At a physical level SRMT increases circulation, warms tissues, improves drainage, separates fibres, breaks down scars/adhesions and releases fascial restrictions. These effects can speed up the healing process, relieve pain, reduce stress, release tension and correct imbalances within the body. In addition massage is also proven to release endorphins – the natural feel good factor, leaving you walking away with a wonderful sense of well being.
With all this mind you can see why Sport & Remedial Massage Therapy has become such a key part in people’s health plan. So go on, add regular sports massage to your list of ‘must haves’!