What is "Sports Massage?"
When new clients call us asking if we do sports massage, we've found that they are looking for one or more of the following:
A) a massage therapist that can "handle" someone that works out. Meaning...the therapist understands the physical demands of exercise, sports, weightlifting, etc.
B) "deep tissue" but for people who work out
C) not a spa massage...they want a massage therapist that will "work out their issues"
D) focused work to help heal current injury, or reduce the chance of future injury
We get it. The "type of massage" jargon out there is enough to drive a person mad.
I JUST WANT A GOOD MASSAGE. But what do I search for, or ask for?
That's one of the main reasons our "service menu" isn't organized according to "modality" aka deep tissue, sports massage, neuromuscular massage, etc. The bottom line is that we ARE very skilled and capable to help with a wide range of injuries and issues, and the industry jargon might help you narrow your search, but it gets confusing out there. Let us worry about the modalities and techniques used, and you tell us the areas of pain or injury you'd like help with. We'll apply the therapy you need to reach your session goal.
For those curious about what sports massage actually means, here's the breakdown:
Sports massage can be event-specific, or it can refer to its tendency to focus on specific areas of the body that are under more demand (or injury) due to a person's sport.
Event-specific sports massage would include massage immediately before, between, or after a competition. Think of warming up before an workout or race - sports massage will increase circulation, warm the tissue in preparation for the competition, as well as help the athlete mentally focus for their event. You can also have sports massage between events, such as between heats in a CrossFit competition. Post event massage is generally performed within 24-48 hours of a grueling workout or race. Post-event massage is designed to decrease soreness and improve the body's ability to heal, but this is not the time for deep tissue or pressure. For most athletes, their body needs a few days to recover from the competition, at which time it is appropriate to resume focused work on any potential injuries that developed during the event.
Another way to interpret "sports massage" is focused massage for areas of pain or injury, instead of a more general massage, like when you just want to relax and the therapist does an overall wellness massage on the whole body. If you are a baseball player, the focused sports massage will take into account the movements and demand of your sport. For a baseball player, a massage therapist would examine how well your shoulder moves in multiple directions. On a more detailed level, the therapist would treat the left hip of a right -handed pitcher differently than the right hip, due to the specific movement pattern that a pitcher uses in the game. In essence, a sports massage therapist should have a thorough understanding of kinesiology, the science of body movement.
As with any questions about massage or our services, we are happy to answer questions just like "what is sports massage?" Chances are, if we don't have a therapist that is qualified for a specific type of massage you're looking for (such as lymphatic massage or Thai massage) we can give you a referral to the right practitioner! Do we offer sports massage? YOU BETCHA!