In Deep Tissue Massage, firm pressure is applied to loosen off areas of muscular tension. In some ways, it is similar to a Swedish Massage, only a lot firmer.
Sports Massage, on the other hand, uses the same firm pressure, but adds a variety of different techniques to stretch muscles during the massage, freeing up movement and allowing the muscles to really release. Sports massage also involves a lot more attention to the function of various muscles in the body- for example, if your shoulders roll forwards, the therapist can use a variety of deep massage techniques to relax and stretch muscles, and different techniques to tighten underactive muscles, which helps you to correct your posture.
Sports Massage is very useful for those who exercise, as I’m sure you can tell from the name, but it is also incredibly effective for those who don’t have the opportunity to move around that much. In particular, those who sit at desks regularly for their work can benefit from sports massage, as it helps to reduce incidences of backache. Surprised? Most people are when they hear this. The name conjures up a slightly different image. Sports massage can help to correct posture, to rehabilitate injuries and to help athletes before and after a competition.
Now that we have discussed the core differences between Sports massage and Deep Tissue massage, we can move on to talking about how I structure Sports Massage appointments. When the client comes in, I offer them a glass of water whilst they complete a consultation form (provided they are new to us). Afterwards, we go through to the treatment room to discuss what it is you need from the treatment. At this point, I may ask to examine you in your underwear. This is so that I can get a better understanding of your posture. If there is a problem with a joint, I may also take you through a few tests to assess how well you are moving. After assessing posture and range of movement, we start to massage, focusing on the areas that most need treatment.
I tend to start reasonably gently, so that you can adjust to the pressure and touch, before going in deeply into the tissues. When I work on someone, I try to stay within a pressure range that is manageable for the client. Generally, sports massage should be slightly uncomfortable, but tolerable. On rare occasions, when there are severe postural problems, or imbalances in the muscles, it can be painful for parts of the massage. I do not, however, see the point in causing pain unless strictly necessary. Apart from anything else, people tense up when they are in pain, and it is counter-productive for the massage.
When the massage portion of the treatment is complete, I allow the client to dress. I then talk them through a range of different stretches and other advice for when they are at home. In this way, you can help yourself to recover from injury faster, or to improve your posture. By doing your stretches and following the advice, you can be in less pain, feel more limber and avoid re-injury. I will then recommend an ideal time for you to come in for treatment, assuming that you require another.