Sports Massage Therapy

Sports Massage Therapy

Athletes benefit from this type of massage therapy. This type of massage therapy is worth the investment for a massage therapist. Just doing this alone could prove to be a lucrative career.

Athletes are competitive because they are supposed to be. Each one wants to do better or outdo the other person. The main goal is to win, whether in baseball, basketball, football, or any of the numerous sportspeople compete in. Having a sports massage can help the athlete get a head-up on their competitors.

Professional athletes from all kinds of sports employ massage therapists, and they see the results. Athletes see significant benefits in having a massage therapist. Their ability to compete is increased. It also enhances their flexibility. The massage therapist will instruct the athlete to incorporate things like stretches, releasing muscle tension, and muscle trigger points.

Trail Guide Trigger Points
Since there are many athletes in different sports, the techniques are going to be different. The therapist should familiarize themselves with the sport in question. This way, they will know what areas to give attention to.

Massage therapists getting into the sports business have to get familiar with the athletes they will be working with. They can ask questions such as in what areas they are experiencing pain. Therapists should not attempt to stretch any of the muscles because that can damage the muscle fibers.

If athletes have sore muscles, this type of therapy will benefit them greatly. It will help them to alleviate the soreness very quickly.
The athlete can move on to the next event or practice after receiving their massage therapy treatment. In addition to that, this treatment can help an athlete get rid of soreness after daily workouts.

Having massage therapy for athletes was probably the best thing that ever happened to them. It plays a big part in them playing their sport. The massage therapists that are hired to take care of the athletes usually travel with them when they go on the road.

Therapists are considered to be part of the team. They provide massages prior to the game and after the game. They also do it during practice days. As long as there’s a massage therapist around, the athletes can be assured of playing better games.

Trail Guide to Movement
The massage therapist needs to know how an athlete’s body is designed. They need to be able to connect with bones and muscles. They also need to be familiar with trigger points and scar tissue. They’ll have to deal with that when providing treatments to the athletes.

The therapist needs to know where to release trigger points on the athletes for better performance. The more techniques they can incorporate with the athletes, the better they have to make more money.
The massage therapists must be versatile. All of the athletes don’t encounter the same problems with their muscles and joints.

If an athlete has cramps, the therapist should allow them to stretch the area against the resistance. The muscle will relax and relieve the cramps. The therapist needs to know what area to hold in place while the client stretches.

The therapist should instruct the client to drink sports drinks such as Gatorade or other sports drinks. This will help the athlete replenish minerals in their system. It will also keep them hydrated. The therapist should also advise them to eat bananas for potassium.

When messaging the athletes, you should not use any lubricants. This must be a quick process that will energize them. This will help them to be able to compete better. At the end of the massage, you can use tapping or slapping methods to get their muscles in shape.

As a massage therapist, you should work hard to help the athletes as much you can. Once they see that your techniques are working for them and making them compete better, they will remember who helped them.

They will also spread the word about your excellent work to others. Word of mouth is one of the best ways that your business can grow.

To get more business, you’ll want to offer complementary services by volunteering at other sports events. The ones that you provide free services to give them your business card and offer them a percentage off on any service for their first visit.

When you hear of other sports events, talk to the people in charge as soon as possible and advise them that you would like to offer your massage therapy treatments’ complimentary services.

Sports Massage Therapy

8 Exercises for the Lower Back

1-Half Lunge

Start with both feet hip-width apart. Step one foot forward until it is on the floor in front of you with the knee at a 90-degree angle. The other knee can rest on the floor. Return to standing by either stepping back or pushing with your left foot until it is once again level with your right foot. Repeat by stepping out with the left foot and bringing the right knee downwards

2-Cross-Legged Crunch

Lay on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and the small of your back comfortably supported on the floor. Cross one leg, such as the right one, over the left leg. Using both hands, grip the thigh of the leg underneath, in this case, the left leg, and gently draw both legs towards your chest. Hold for 5 seconds and release the leg, so the foot is once more flat on the floor.

3-Hamstring Stretch

Lay on the floor with one knee bent, foot flat on the floor, and the small of your back comfortably supported on the floor, and the other leg stretched straight out flat on the floor.
Bend one knee. Using both hands, grip the thigh of the raised leg. Support the leg as you try to straighten it. Picture yourself pushing up to the ceiling with your heel. Straighten as far as you can, hold for 5 seconds, then release the leg, so it is bent again. Repeat 4 more times on that side and then do the same exercises with the opposite leg.

4-Thigh Stretch
Standing next to a wall for balance, and leaning with your right side or holding on to the wall with your right hand, bend your left knee. Reach down your left hand to grip the upper part of your foot around the toe area. Bring the heel of the foot close to the back of the thigh. Try to keep the knees together, with the raised leg parallel to the standing leg, not spread apart widely.

5-Yoga pose: Plank
Plank is like the upward position of a push-up. Don’t let the back sag down or thrust upwards. Keep it as straight as a board.

6-Yoga pose: Dolphin Plank
Instead of resting your weight on your hands, rest it on your forearms and elbows. Again, don’t sag. This is great for a solid core.

7 and 8-Yoga poses: Cat and Cow
Start in cow, on your hands and knees, back straight. Arch your head and neck back–pretend to moo. Now move to cat, and think of a hissing cat arching its back angrily. Bring the head down and arch the back. Move slowly back to cow, then to cat, and so on, about 8-10 times, keeping the movement smooth and steady.

Sports Massage Therapy

The Zen Massage

There are very many massage techniques in existence today, some of them stemming from the far Eastern World of antiquity while others originated in the more recent years of the Western world. Although they were born out of very different philosophical and cultural persuasions, each of these obtainable massage techniques provides some aspects of relaxation. Still, none does it as thoroughly as one that was born in Austin, Texas, and christened as the Zen Massage. Zen, by the way, is an ancient Chinese discipline, which means “meditation,” and it focuses on the meditative portion of the dharma practice and the experiential wisdom which is also called the zazen or the path of enlightenment. It, therefore, steers away from theoretical knowledge and theology. Zen Massage induces utter calm, peace, and a relaxed state of being feels.
By combining an assortment of highly sophisticated and time tested and proven techniques, the Zen Massage affords its subjects a spontaneous soothing and a balanced energy experience of picture-perfect enormity. The various features which are part and parcel of the entire therapeutic Zen Massage treatment are as follows:

The Heated Stones. This is a curative procedure that makes use of hot stones which are moved along the subject’s muscles in smooth gliding motions and well-calculated pressure.

The Hot Towel Pore Cleanse. This purifying treatment involves the use of freshly steamed towels applied to the entire body. The heat of the towels opens the pores to cleanse and revitalize the outer skin (epidermis) while also reaching into the lower layers, the dermis, and the hypodermis.

The Bio-Mat. The Bio-Mat calms down and relaxes tight and sore muscles while it quiets and soothes irritated nerves. The Bio-Mat transports the subject into the realm of a complete state of wellbeing on the physical as well as on the psychological levels.

The Aromatherapy. Pure essential oils are used for this aromatherapy treatment to help the subject relax as stress is melted away, and complete balance and wellness overcome the client.

The Peppermint Bliss Foot Massage. The peppermint bliss foot massage smoothes and softens tired and aching feet for a feeling of harmony and peace, which radiate from the tips of the toes to the crown of the head.

The Zen Massage therapy is a noninvasive and natural massage treatment which has been clinically proven to be completely safe while being highly effective in relieving stress, which has also been shown to be the leading cause of countless physiological and mental health problems. Some of the most significant benefits that have been attributed to the effectiveness of Zen Massage therapy are: · The lowering of high blood pressure, which in medical terms is referred to as hypertension and has been often spoken about as the “silent killer.” The improvement of the REM sleep. The REM stands for rapid eye movement, and it is characterized by, you guessed it, rapid eye movements. It also includes rapid low voltage EEG, which is commonly spoken of as brain waves. On average, a healthy adult spends approximately 20 to 25 percent of a whole night’s sleep in the REM phase, and it is essential to good health. The decrease of fatigue of the body and the mind which naturally leads to enhanced concentration and improved motor skills. In conclusion, Zen Massage therapy helps its subjects to release their worries, unwind their bodies, relax their tensions, quiet their minds, and ease their senses.
Sports Massage Therapy

Clinical Massage

Occasionally referred to as an orthopedic massage, Clinical massage is an entire array of manipulation techniques designed to assess and then to minister to soft tissue injuries, and these may include but are not limited to:

massage therapy
trigger point therapy
myofascial release
muscle-energy techniques
craniosacral therapy
deep tissue massage

Clinical massage therapy is usually based on a physician’s prescription and directives as a series of treatment sessions to be performed over a set period and at a specified frequency as related only to a specific need. In that regard, this therapy is most often performed with a particular and purposeful outcome in mind. First and foremost, objectives are to relieve pain, to increase the range of motion, and to help repair and restore soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments to their normal and healthy functions.

The first of the doctor-prescribed set of sessions is predominantly devoted to assessment or diagnostics of the client’s exact condition, and with all the data collected an action plan can be formulated:

By using various levels of palpation or touching of the ailing body part, the massage therapist will pinpoint the exact location as well as determine the levels of pain.
The range of motion and the strength of the muscles are tested through a sequence of movements such as a passive movement which involves the massage therapist moving the relevant muscle groups while the client is inert; and

active movements which consist of the client’s own motion of the muscles in questions;

and the resisted movement, which involves the clients’ actions against a resisting force.

If clinical data related to previous soft tissue injuries and massage therapy is available, it will be reviewed for comparison to the current situation, and the phase of healing will be determined.

The findings are carefully reviewed along with the doctor’s orders, and customized Clinical massage therapy is drawn up.

DYSFUNCTIONS RESPONDING TO CLINICAL MASSAGE

Myofascial Pain
Pain and physiological dysfunctions are known to begin at specific points within muscles and their connective tissues, which is also known as fascia. These are appropriately referred to as trigger points because they tend to set off or trigger reactions at remote locations.

Scientists and researchers have successful recorded comprehensive map systems of myofascial trigger points, and they have been able to identify dozens of dysfunctions relating to them. The most common of these are:

carpal tunnel syndrome
TMJ dysfunction
PMS
headache
diarrhea
dizziness
indigestion
tennis elbow
urinary frequency
sinusitis

Fascial Plane Dysfunction.
Fascia covers nearly the entire body in large endlessly connected sheets, which can be distorted and bound to themselves and nearby tissues when inflicted with injury, misalignment, or a chemical imbalance. To promote optimal health, the fascial sheets and the blood vessels and nerves which follow them must be in good condition.

Neuromuscular Dysfunction.
The simplest and tiniest movements of the body require armies of nerve impulses to be sent to the muscle, which is directly involved, as well as to the adjoining and opposing muscles. And it must all be accomplished with a precision of timing and proportions. When the mechanics of any part of these functions break down, muscle fibers or entire muscles lock.

Tonus System Dysfunction.
Overused muscles become hypertonic or lose their ability to relax. Consequently, they tighten and cause stress on opposing muscles and on the joints they cross.

Dermatomal Dysfunction.
When nerves are pinched anywhere along their path, the pain will be delivered to the area they serve.

Spondylogenic Dysfunction.
When joints of the spine are impaired or compressed, the pain will occur in that specific area.

Stated more simply, people suffering from:

muscle or joint pains
tightness, muscle fatigue or tension
shooting or spreading pain
allergies or asthma
anxiety or depression
irregularity of the digestive system
arthritis or circulatory problems
sleep disorders
headaches
immune function disorders
stress

can be helped as their symptoms can be relieved through Clinical Massage.

Sports Massage Therapy

Purpose of Deep Tissue Massage

The deep tissue massage is a kind of massage therapy that centers its attention primarily on the ailing, the sore, the painful, and the distressed deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues.

The purpose of Deep Tissue Massage is particularly beneficial for chronically tight and constricted areas such as in cases of stiff necks, tightness of lower backs and aching shoulders. The strokes of the Deep Tissue massage are not very different from those of any other types of massage therapies, but they are slower and with more pressure applied to reach deeper while focusing on troubled areas.

The Deep Tissue massage is so important in certain painful contractions and spasms due to stress, strain or injury because that is the only way to get to the root of the problem as it is embedded deep under the surface where adhesions which are the causes of the pain and rigidity in muscles, tendons, and ligaments are located. Adhesions obstruct circulation in the affected areas to limit the blood flow, which leads to the pain, the restricted movement, and, ultimately, to the inflammation.

By applying firm pressure and direct friction across the grain and fabric of the muscles, the Deep Tissue massage aims to break down those troublesome adhesions to restore proper blood circulation, reinstate full movement and heal the inflamed tissues. The therapists performing the Deep Tissue massage may use fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms during the therapy session and alternate them during the various stages. Clients are frequently asked to take deep breaths as the therapists dig deeply into a particularly tense area.

Because the Deep Tissue massage is somewhat intense, it should not be applied under the following conditions:

Infectious skin disease, rashes, bruises, inflamed skin, tumors, or open and unhealed wounds.
Immediately, or soon after, surgery or recent fractures.
Immediately. or soon after, chemotherapy or radiation treatments, unless approved by the client’s physician.
Osteoporosis patients, unless approved by the treating doctor.
Clients prone to blood clots.
Heart disease patients, unless recommended by their cardiologists.
Pregnant women should get their massage treatments from professionals who are certified in pregnancy massage.
Abdominal hernia.

The good news is that Deep Tissue massage really works, and it usually works very fast. Often, clients will walk into a session with excruciating pain and walk out a couple of hours later with smiles of relief on their faces. The bad news is that, depending on their tolerance level to pain, most clients experience it to one degree or another at a certain point during the session. Also, there is usually some measure of soreness immediately after the treatment, which can last up to an entire day. However, the pain of the Deep Tissue massage therapy and the lingering soreness afterward is nothing compared to the pain before the treatment, and it comes with the knowledge that it will all be over very shortly. The massage therapist may suggest applying an icepack to the sore area, but it is rarely severe enough to warrant it.

When most massage therapies are aimed at relaxation of the body and mind and the massage is generally applied to the entire body, the Deep Tissue massage sets its sights on precise problematic areas such as those afflicted with:

Chronic or acute pains
Diminished mobility or limited range of motion.
Healing areas after traumas or injuries caused by falls, sports injuries, whiplashes from car accidents, and so on.
Strains from repetitive motion, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Pains due to incorrect posturing of the body.
Pains from osteoarthritis. According to a study conducted and reported by the Consumer Reports magazine, over 34,000 people classified Deep Tissue massage therapy as being more effective in alleviating osteoarthritis pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescribed, or over-the-counter drugs, glucosamine, diets, acupuncture or chiropractic treatments.
Fibromyalgia. Statistics have shown that Deep Tissue massage is more successful in easing symptoms of Fibromyalgia than any other available curative remedy.
Muscle tension, contractions, or spasms.

To flush out metabolic waste from the massaged tissues, clients should drink plenty of water after the Deep Tissue massage.

Sports Massage Therapy

History of Swedish Massage

THE SWEDISH MASSAGE

The Swedish Massage, which was conceived by Henri Peter Ling, a Swedish physiologist at the University of Stockholm, was publically introduced in 1812 as a means of improving blood circulation, of relieving muscle stress and pain, of increasing flexibility and of promoting total relaxation of the body and mind. The Swedish Massage was imported into the United States in the 1850s by Charles and George Taylor, two American brothers practicing medicine in New York who opened the first two Swedish clinics in the New World; the first in Boston, Massachusetts and the second in Washington, D. C.

GEORGE TAYLOR

GEORGE H. TAYLOR WAS BORN in Williston, Vermont, on January 4, 1821. Largely self-educated, before he was eighteen he began teaching in the common schools of Williston; and soon he was selected to be the town’s first Superintendent of Schools. Before he had turned twenty-one, though, George Taylor was suffering from various chronic, difficult-to-understand, and evidently impossible-to-treat health problems. So, he began researching the matter for himself. This led to studies at the Medical Department of Harvard and at the New York Medical College, where he graduated in 1852.
Dr. Taylor started his professional career at the New York City Water Cure, 184 12th Street, at the corner of University Place – a hydrotherapy institution. He established his own practice, in or soon after February, 1853; and a few years later, he was joined by his younger brother, Dr. Charles Fayette Taylor.
Early in his career, George H. Taylor encountered a curious belief among people in general, as well as among physicians, that women’s bodies were particularly susceptible to disease. He found no evidence to support this notion; and much of his work was devoted to promoting the health of women, particularly through exercise.
Taylor developed a system of exercise therapy, and later he learned of institutions in Stockholm that used similar methods. This is probably why his brother Charles, very soon after being awarded a degree in medicine in 1856, sailed to England to learn Per Henrik Ling’s system of Swedish movements from Dr. Mathias Roth, the author of the first English book about Swedish massage. In 1858, George traveled to Sweden to observe the Swedish movements firsthand. Once back in New York, he founded the Remedial Hygienic Institute.
Prescribed exercises and massage were at the heart of what became known as the Swedish movement cure. Dr. Taylor invented a mechanical massage device which he introduced in 1864. Later, his clinic at 67 West 38th Street became known as the Improved Movement Cure Institute. We know that, in addition to exercise and massage, it incorporated certain elements of hydrotherapy (water cure). Patients of the Institute were taught about the nature of their illnesses and about their treatment regimen, as well as about the importance of good nutrition.
Dr. Taylor, in addition to his mechanical massage device, invented various types of exercise equipment used to treat specific medical problems.

Since its inception in the early part of the 19th century, the Swedish Massage had become one of the most widely used massage techniques in the Western world and it is the basis for a number of other Western massage therapies which include the Sports Massage, the Deep Tissue Massage and the Aromatherapy. To attain its objectives, the Swedish Massage utilizes seven basic therapeutic movements:

• Effleurage. These are long gliding and soothing strokes which are aimed toward the heart while tracing the natural curves of the body. Massage oils are often used to facilitate smooth movement and to warm the muscles.

• Petrissage. These are movements which use strokes that lift, roll or knead soft body tissues. This process draws blood into the area and helps relax tense muscles and fascia as well as the rest of the body.

• Pinpoint Pressure. These movements are directed toward points that are knotted or hardened and painful to the touch. Pressure is directed to these points in order to break them down and release the muscle.

• Deep Friction. These are very small circular movements which press slightly below the surface of the skin and onto the muscle beneath it. These strokes relax muscles which contracted and tensed due to overuse or as a result of emotional stress at their deeper levels.

• Skin Rolling. This movement involves pinching a fold of skin and moving it forward in a rolling motion. This process lifts skin off its connective tissues to promote better blood circulation for the improvement of skin tone.

• Tapotement. This movement requires rhythmical tapping with cupped hands or with hands set in the karate-chop position. This practice awakens the body into vitality and the tingling sensation of energy and health.

• Finger Brushing. This movement is usually performed at the closing of the Swedish Massage treatment session as fingertips are lightly brushing against the surface of the skin to relax the stimulated muscles while calming the nervous system.

The most outstanding health benefits of the Swedish massage are in:

• Relaxing of tired, tense or overused muscles.
• Improving blood circulation without overburdening the heart.
• Increasing flexibility and widening the range of motion by stretching the body’s soft tissues: muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints and connective tissues.
• Stimulating the nervous system while simultaneously relaxing the nerve endings.

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