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FAQ: Sports Massage
Here at Circle 8, we not only strive to provide a high-quality massage therapy service, but we feel obligated to impart our well-honed knowledge and understanding of the myofascial, musculoskeletal, neural and lymphatic systems. All of our massage therapists are dedicated and passionate about all aspects of massage therapy, and that is why we provide a first-rate, inclusive soft tissue therapy service.
Surprisingly, more people than you make think to have a lot of questions or uncertainties when it comes to thinking about booking a sports massage in Leeds city centre (if you’re like us and this is where you’re based). Besides the abundance of physical and mental benefits you can gain from having a sports massage, which we have highlighted on this sports massage FAQ page, you have a few things to consider first. A sports massage isn’t necessarily the right massage therapy option for everyone but we also offer other types of treatment.
So, we felt that we would try to list and answer the most frequently asked questions concerning sports massages.
Q: So, what is a sports massage exactly?
A: A sports massage, sometimes known as a muscular massage or sports therapy is a targeted blend of deep massaging techniques. The methods used in a sports massage are essential for both rehabilitative and preventative therapy. Additionally, this massage therapy is appropriately named due to its effectiveness (when using a professional masseur) to relax and loosen restricted, tight or injured tendons, superficial ligament and primarily muscles.
This muscular therapy is an age old that dates back thousands of years. In recent years it is better known as ‘Sports Therapy’ as it is used in the training regimes for professional, high level, frequent and even novice athletes alike. However, the techniques used in muscular massage practice can also be beneficial for those who do little or no exercise (we’ll get to that later on).
Q: Are sports massages the same as a “regular” massage?
A: The general thought that comes to mind when we think of a massage session, is luxury, relaxation, candles, etc. Although sports or remedial massage lacks aromatherapy/candles, there are more significant differences. The first, a sports (muscular) massage should be tailored to your therapeutic needs and goals. For instance, here at Circle 8 massage Leeds, our professional masseurs will discuss what you want/need to achieve from your sessions. Then during your sports massage, the trained therapist will implement the appropriate levels of intense techniques depending on your aims. When it comes to a Sports Massage, there isn’t a “one size fits all,” as the techniques will change alongside dealing with your rehabilitation or preventative objectives.
Q: When should I book in for a sports massage?
A: The simple answer, the frequency that suits your massage therapy needs and goals. It also depends on how well your body is responding to your sports therapy sessions. Moreover, it varies if you’re treating an injury or to alleviate your pain. If you consistently exercise, regardless if you’re a pro or a novice, the standard rule for treating a sports injury or to help your muscles to repair to wait one-two days after a strengthen or lengthy exercise/training session. The primary reason for this general recommendation is because your muscles will be growing or “lively” after an intense or strength based exercise session.
Unless you’ve injured yourself, for instance, a torn muscle, then we advise that you give your body time to repair naturally. Besides by waiting two or more days for your post-exercise sports massage, you will speed up the recovery process and have a more beneficial session overall. As there isn’t a uniformed protocol when it comes to sports massages, it solely down to the individual, so the frequency depends on factors like; how long it takes your muscles to settle after a session. After a session or two, you will begin to understand how long your body needs to recover from the training and sports massage. Basically, you do not want to ruin your hard work and effort, if you’re training for competition because you're not fully recovered.
Q: How often should I have a sports therapy massage?
A: If you’ve not read the entire FAQ, then you may not have seen that the golden rule or standard for a sports massage is discovering what works best for you. Although we are perhaps biased, you should take advantage of having a sports massage session whenever it is possible. However, sports therapy sessions are not always free, so your budget and schedule also come into play. Due to the abundance of benefits of a sports massage, post or pre-work out if you regularly work out or train, try to incorporate this muscular therapy wherever it is feasible. Oh, and if you’d like to learn more about why you should have a post-exercise massage, check out our blog here. Whether you already have frequent sports massage sessions or you toying with the idea of adding it to your training regime, the one crucial aspect to remember is that the sessions meet and fit all of your goals. We understand that as there isn’t a “standard” frequency, you may feel unsure. So, if you would like further clarity, please speak to one on our massage Leeds based therapist today, to identify an appropriate schedule that achieves your goals and budget.
Q: Do you need to exercise or play a sport to have a sports massage?
A: Contrary to the common name of this massage therapy, this method has been used throughout the years (thousands in fact) to help alleviate pain or injuries. At the end of the day, we can injure ourselves from several activities that we repeatedly do every day. Here at Circle 8, we assist several of our clients who suffer from frequent aches, pains, strains and even injuries caused by bad posture. Moreover, one of the greatest ways to effectively treat these issues is through sports or deep tissue massage. You may find another one of our articles interesting – Five Ways to Improve your Posture. So, long story short, you do not have to frequently or do any type of exercise or sport to achieve the benefits of a sports massage (depending on your needs). If you aren’t overly active but feel that a sports therapy massage in Leeds would be advantageous, talk to one of us at Circle 8 to discuss the best remedial therapy option for you.
Q: Do you offer any other therapies in addition to massage?
Q: Is it true that a sports massage can increase my overall performance by making me stronger and/or faster?
A: Yes, increased performance and boost to your strength is just one of the many benefits that you can gain from a sports massage. A sports massage can provide you with these advantages indirectly, as your body will be adjusted during your session to become more durable and have an overall higher efficiency. It is particularly advantageous for those who are looking to gain muscle mass. Depending on the frequency and intensity of your sports massage session, you can gain an additional 20% muscle mass, which essentially leads to increased speed, strength and performance.
These performance gains is arguably the main reason why many pro and avid athletes integrate a sports massage as part of their training programme. As noted earlier, a sports massage intends to break down muscle adhesions, increase the range of motion, relieve/reduce knots, increases your circulation, stretch out tight muscles (which reduces stiffness), and to alleviate pain. Therefore, when you integrate a sports massage into your training, (post and pre-exercise), you have the potential to train harder than before. Thus, increase your overall performance and excel in your respective sport or exercise.
Q: What happens in a sports massage session?
A: Initially, we need to understand your reasons for wanting a sports massage, discuss your sports and medical history and review your posture. We can then tailor your sports therapy sessions to your exact requirement or needs, whether it’s for specific (or potential) problem areas, discomfort and dysfunction, or to fit into your training program. If you have come to us due to a sports injury or persistent pain, we will carry out several tests to palpate the problems areas. At Circle 8, we strive to provide a high-quality service in every session, so we ensure that we have a thorough understanding rather than guessing. As all of our sports therapy sessions are hands-on, we will always conduct a consultation prior to any therapy, which is why all of our clients leave feeling satisfied.
Q: What do I need to wear?
A: Although we conduct an initial consultation, you don’t need to dress for an interview (just don’t forget your underwear). We recommend to wear loose and comfortable clothing, and an extra pair of shorts as they may be more comfortable after your sports therapy session. We will place a towel over your body, so you will be covered up during your session.
Q: Will my sports massage hurt?
A: Perhaps you’ve heard from a friend, family member or colleague that their sports massage was painful. As this massage therapy will break down your muscles, there may be times where you feel pain or slight discomfort. So, the answer is yes and no, and it also depends on your pain threshold. However, the pain should not make you feeling like you want to jump off the couch and escape your masseurs’ elbows. If too much pressure is applied and causes unnecessary levels of pain, your body’s natural reaction will be to tense up. So, if this happens to be sure to tell your sports therapist as they can adjust the pressure to ensure they are working your problem areas.
Q: Can i claim back the cost of my health insurance?
A: You can indeed, we are accredited with the Federation of Holistic Therapists who are supported by all major health insurance providers. Simply check your policy to see if the treatment you selected is covered, at the end of the treatment we will send you a full receipt containing all the information you will need to claim back the cost of your massage from your insurance provider.
Q: What conditions can a sports massage successfully treat?
A: Here are the most common conditions that we treat here at Circle 8. If you do not see your condition, please speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable therapists to see how we can help:
General aches, pain and discomfort
Upper and lower cross syndrome
Carpel tunnel syndrome