Whilst training to become a Sports Massage Therapist, it used to astound me how many active people I used to come across that had never experienced Sports Massage. Some didn’t even realise the importance of a deep tissue massage as part of their exercise routine, training, preparation and recovery.
I first understood the benefits of Sports Massage when I became a professional Volleyball player 5 years ago. I have played as a pro in Europe, have over 100 caps for Great Britain and competed at the London Olympics in 2012. During this sporting career I have experienced a wide range of treatments from many different Massage Therapists. My body has been kept in its best condition through Massage and my risk of injury has been greatly reduced. A regular massage gives me peace of mind knowing that I’ve had any little niggles ironed out. Sports massage is just one vital element of giving your body a thorough MOT and I highly recommend seeking a Sports Massage Therapist if you are exercising regularly or training for any type of sports event.
Truthfully, deep tissue massage doesn’t have to hurt. It’s not however the type of relaxing, soothing massage you get in a candlelit room with fragrance oils and whale music! You need to be able to feel the pressure of the treatment as the Therapist works deeper to get to the route of the problem but you shouldn’t be in pain. A skilled Therapist will be able to loosen off the muscles and work deeper without you feeling unnecessary discomfort.
A question I’d regularly get asked is how often to have a sports massage. This really comes down to the individual and the type of training they’re doing and for what event. At the height of my career I would be getting a massage every couple of days but I was also lucky enough not to have to pay for the treatments which was a bonus. In reality and when finances have to be considered, I would recommend a sports massage at least once a month, especially if you are training consistently or have an event that you are focussing on.
Sports Massage treatments aren’t expensive! They are great value for money and worth every penny, especially if they mean you can avoid the emotional cost of having to pull out of an event you’ve trained so hard for due to an injury that could have been avoided with a good loosen!! Regular massage will help you extend the overall life of your sporting career or fitness ability.
Written by Jenn Taylor, London 2012 Olympian, Business Coach & Sports Massage Therapist