By Lynn Davis Â
Resident Massage Therapist at SoCal Athletics
Massage Therapy; A recipe for success
Having been a massage therapist for over 10 years, Iâ€™ve had the opportunity to work with many different types of athletes and I have found that the combination of these five types of massage modalities have proven to be the best results in my practice.
A sports massage often involves a fast-paced massage, stretching and other approaches, depending upon the sport in which you participate. Â It can be tailored to be used as a pre-workout stretch and opportunity to warm up the muscles or used a post work-workout massage designed to reduce muscle soreness and increase flexibility.
Active release technique, also known as A.R.T. is a massage technique that combines movement with specific deep pressure to help relieve muscle adhesions and reduce scar tissue buildup. Â Active release is best used when treating a specific injury, especially one where the formation of scar tissue impacts the ability for the body to heal itself.
Swedish massage utilizes long, flowing strokes. Â The lighter, relaxing strokes helps to ease muscle tension, relieves stress and increase blood flow. Â Swedish massage is best used in the days before big competitions or as a recovery tool after hard workouts. Â
Trigger point therapy targets a knot in the muscle fiber that may cause pain to be referred to other, more distant parts of the body. Â Therapist will apply pressure to a knot for anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds, until a change in the tissue is felt.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue is often confused with deep pressure (like when you say, â€œgo harderâ€) Â Deep tissue targets both the superficial and deep layers of muscles and fascia. Â Deep tissue typically focus in on a few specific problem areas. Â Therapist uses slow deliberate Â movement from origin to insertion point of the muscle.
When should you get a massage and how often
Massage here and there is nice, but wonâ€™t give you the same benefits as a regular massage sessions. Â Like exercise itself, your benefits are cumulative, meaning the more regularly you receive a massage, the more youâ€™ll reap the benefits. Â That being said, know that the benefits are often short-lived and part of the reason why it is a cumulative action. Â If youâ€™re training at a high level, I suggest once a week if possible or every other week. Â Think of it as a preventative maintenance, donâ€™t wait until thereâ€™s an injury, book your bodywork sessions now. Â