“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” ~Michelangelo
Wellness and balance left behind in the world of fitness, being an athlete entails pushing the body to its limits and striving for increased performance. Bodies can only be pushed so far so fast before performance suffers and injuries set in. The goals of sports massage are to assist in faster and more complete recovery, decrease the chance of injury, and help increase performance. This is accomplished by bringing awareness to subclinical issues, mobilizing scar tissue, enhancing the level of oxygen and nutrients in the muscle tissue, improving tissue extensibility and joint mobility, increasing efficiency, and reducing breaks in the kinetic chain of movement. Done properly, the work has the potential to give an athlete 10-20% more power.
Sports massage is goal oriented and focused, applying a dynamic and flexible approach to working with active individuals, in view of the physiology of exercise and its effects on soft tissue before, during and after an event. The specific techniques depend on the timing of the session with respect to activities (pre-, post-, intra-event, training, rehabilitation), the intent of the work (goals and areas of the body), and the desired effect on the tissue. Soft tissue work addresses both mechanical (adhesion, scar tissue, fibrosis, fascial thickening) and neurological (hypertonicity, spasm, splinting, atrophy) tightness of muscles.
Post-event The intent of a post-event session is to assist in warm-down, aid the recovery from exertion and overuse, and locate potential issues. Effleurage, light petrissage, compression, broadening strokes, range of motion and light stretching are performed at a tempo depending on the desired effect. Soft tissue work can be immensely beneficial at this stage.
Intra-event work is performed during training with the intent to increase performance and decrease the potential for injury. There are no general contraindications as to tools and techniques used to accomplish the goals. Deep tissue work is performed only at this stage, to allow for the integration of changes in proprioception. This stage requires familiarity with the athlete’s routine, schedule and goals.
Pre-event The intent of a pre-event session is to assist in warm-up by increasing blood flow, keep proper extensibility of muscles and connective tissue, help the athlete relax or focus, and give special attention to known problem areas. Effleurage, friction, compression, vibration, joint mobilization and light stretching in focused areas are performed at a more up-beat tempo. Great familiarity with an athlete through post- and intra-event work is a prerequisite for working with them pre-event.
Looking forward to assisting in your achievements!