Returning from summer holidays and back into our everyday activity levels can feel somewhat unnerving after time spent relaxing by the pool or on that well-deserved tropical holiday.
Pre-season training aims at slowly building up fitness levels through match practice with a focus on ensuring athletes are in the right shape to avoid injury throughout the sporting season. Periods of inactivity can increase the vulnerability of stressing out our soft tissues structures leading to muscle tension, joint stiffness and unwanted injury. It is particularly important that returning to maximum activity levels is done with caution and care and this is where remedial massage is key to ensure the smoothest of transitions.
What is Remedial Massage?
When done correctly, remedial massage can help peak exercise recovery, improve training volume and capacity, aid in the removal of toxins and waste products, increase mobility and flexibility and of course prevent injury.
Knowledge of human anatomy and biomechanics is the hammer and spanner in a remedial massage therapist’s tool kit. Understanding the two key elements greatly improves the benefits of treatment and recovery from the humble weekend warrior to elite athlete.
The benefits of remedial massage have been widely documented in the recovery and improvement of post-exercise muscle efficiency and with its analgesic effect greatly recommended for use in sport, physical therapy and rehabilitation (1).
Techniques mostly used include:
Smooth gliding technique using the palm of the hand in a circular movement pattern
Medium to deep pressure to compress the underlying muscles and fascia
Myofascial Tension Technique (MFTT)
Applying a gentle sustained pressure to myofascial tissue to elongate, restore and remove pain from muscle tissue and connective fascia
Deep Transverse Friction Massage (DTFM)
Performed at the site of tension or injury in order to breakdown scar tissue/fascial adhesions in order to remodel damaged tissue in order to become more flexible and functional
Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy
Treatment of a hyperirritable spot located within a taught band or ‘knot’ within the muscle belly that is often painful on compression and able to refer painful symptoms to other locations on our body
Myofascial Cupping Technique
Differing from traditional Chinese cupping methods, myofascial cupping aims to create a gentle stretch through tensional suction while reducing and reorganising fascial adhesions and increasing nutrient rich blood supplies and hydration within the soft tissue.
What Are The Benefits Of Pre-Season Remedial Massage?
Receiving remedial massage pre-season is essential for increasing endurance, joint range of motion, exercise performance and muscular function. Formulating a treatment plan and a combination of the above techniques that are specific to the athlete are used in the treatment of muscle sprains and strains, removal of lactic acid build-up, flushing of metabolic waste and increasing the amount of fresh oxygen and blood supply to tissues. It has even been documented that just 30 seconds of deep transverse friction massage to the musculotendinous junction of the hamstrings improved range of motion by 7.2% (2).
At a glance benefits include:
Promotion and formation of new healthy tissue
Reduction in recovery time
Increases energy output
Improves range of motion
Enhances sport performance
Increases tissue permeability
Increases endorphin levels
Improves mental focus
Stress and anxiety relief
Stronger immune function
How often should I see a Remedial Massage Therapist
Ideally receiving a one-hour session per week as an injury- preventative measure in the pre-season is recommended. It is also ideal to book in a session for more intense training days to help fast track recovery and get you back on the field, pool, or gym floor in no time.
1. Boguszewski Dariusz, Szkoda Sylwia, Adamczyk Jakub Grzegorz, and Białoszewski Dariusz. “Sports Mass Age Therapy on the Reduction of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness of the Quadriceps Femoris.” Human Movement 15, no. 4 (2014): 234-37.
2. Huang, Stacey Y., Mario P. Di Santo, Katie F. Wadden, Dario G. Cappa, Thamir Alkanani, and David Behm. “Short-Duration Massage at the Hamstrings Musculotendinous Junction Induces Greater Range of Motion.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 24, no. 7 (2010): 1917-924.
Jian Indomenico is a Myotherapist and is completing advanced training in Myotherapy. He will be consulting on Tuesday evenings and Saturdays.
“I am an avid believer in the ability to prevent pain and injury through maintaining an optimal functioning musculoskeletal system as the foundation to supporting long-term health and wellbeing”