We get asked all the time at the clinic about why and when and how often should I have a Sports Massage. Firstly compare your body to a piece of your equipment say your bike..you wouldn't leave that unserviced, broken or have done no safety checks before your big event day would you? When you train you damage muscle fibre as you get stronger. It does repair but sometimes it doesn't and scar tissue can build up leading to a below average performance, injury or possibly a D.N.F or Did Not Start for that matter. Sports massage techniques will clean up scar tissue, helping the fibres of the muscle glide more smoothly and restore muscle balance preventing injuries, cramp and speed up rehabilitation if you've had an injury.
What exactly is Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a variety of massage techniques that includes range of motion, trigger point therapy, specific deep tissue manipulation/friction strokes and facilitated stretching to maintain, rehabilitate, enhance and relax soft tissue.
Why does an athlete need Sports Massage?
Where and when can it be useful?
Pre-event massage- this is stimulating, rhythmic, fast paced and lasts 10-15mins: Reduces muscular tension & increase flexibility; can enhance the athletes psychological state allowing for better concentration and focus; warms the muscles and prepares them for intense use; increases circulation of blood and lymph.
Post-event massage - techniques used are similar to a full body massage so that the muscles and the body as a whole can return to a balanced state: May help prevent lactic acid soreness and also help prevent or minimise injury; reduces muscular tension and promotes relaxation allowing for quicker recovery time. Also a good time to assess for signs of injury, dehydration/heat exhaustion and hypothermia.
Training/remedial massage - assessment and treatment massage: Helps heal acute injuries and alleviate chronic problem areas; helps reduce muscle spasm and cramping; increases joint range of motion giving more fluidity with less effort; helps prevents injuries to muscles and tendons; reduces strain and discomfort of training.
What is the right amount of massage?
Ideally when you start massage it is best to go regularly (once/twice weekly) to get things under control. After about 4-5 weeks you can choose a 'maintenance' level of fortnightly appointments. If you are training for a major event like a marathon we would recommend weekly sessions once you hit your 12 week build up.
Hope to see you at the clinic! ..we can maintain your awesome machine with a regular 30 or 45 minute appointment :)
Welcome to our newly revamped website! Here's some features we are really excited about -
- You can now order Gift Vouchers online from anywhere..simply choose the session time or package plan and pay online with a credit card. The voucher can be either emailed to you to print out and put in your own nicely chosen card or envelope or can be emailed straight to the recipient.. too easy! :)
- Products we sell and endorse here at Massage Clinic QT, are now available to purchase online from our shop page and delivered to your door.
- Links and interesting articles to help you with your health and wellbeing. Helping you to be proactive and to find out about your wonderful musculoskeletal system and hpw it works.
- Facebook live on our website to see the latest posts and news on promotions so go ahead and LIKE thanx heaps!
- Review us on Trip Advisor and Facebook or simply send an email via our Contact page
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Geoff from Queenstown Tech for all his professional help in the designing of this new website. Call him if you would like a new website highly recommended!
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and relaxing holidays. Hope to see you in clinic in 2017 for some well earned body work.
It has been a while since my last blog so thought I'd get one underway and share the topic for Massage New Zealand Awareness Week coming up from 4th-10th August, Anxiety & Stress.
Stress is good. It keeps us motivated, active and gets us out of bed in the morning but learn to know the early warning signs when your optimal performance peak starts to slide downhill and stress becomes 'distress' causing fatigue, a lowered immune system, anxiety and depression.
Do the simple Quizz: How stressed are you? below then check out the valuable information and ways to reduce stress & anxiety on the MNZ leaflet. Share it around friends, family & work collegues. One single session of massage or a series of treatments has been proven in research studies to have a huge impact on reducing cortisol levels and improving health.
Although this was the topic of Massage New Zealand's Awareness Week past campaign in October 2013, I thought it appropriate to post this document up for the New Year. The 'Ten Top Tips to a Better Posture', so you can start thinking about how you sit, the way you sleep, your work station setup and everyday activities, which if not correct, will affect your posture over time.
Simply click on the file below, print off and slap on your fridge to remind yourself everyday!
Happy New Year
Most ergonomic seating guides focus on your office desk setup or workstation. The other times where we spend quite a bit of time sitting down is in the driver's seat of our vehicles. Perhaps not as much as at our desks but significant enough to contribute to back strain.
So are you seated right? Here are some tips:
1. Seat Height - The seat should be high enough so that you can comfortably see the instruments and the road. Your hips should be in line with your knees or slightly higher. If your seat cannot be raised/raised high enough, use a cushion.
2. Seat Forward/Backward position - The seat should be positioned forward/backward so that you can comfortably reach and depress all the pedals without your back leaving the seat. Note that bringing the seat forward will raise your knees relatively to your hips so check on the seat height again.
3. Seat Recline - Recline the back of the seat to approximately 100-110 degrees
4. Steering Wheel - Adjust the steering wheel upwards and towards you to minimise reach. Having to hold your arms out straight to reach the steering wheel tires the neck & shoulder muscles over time.
5. Headrest - Check it is tilted and raise to fully support your head.
6. ALSO - Change your grip on the steering wheel occasionally. If available, adjust your lumbar support every couple of hours if on a long drive. Stop regularly and get out of the car to stretch out.
If you have never heard of you Psoas muscle and its relationship to your abdominal muscles and back pain then here's some interesting reading discussing the relationship of these muscles.
This article also discusses the Psoas muscle and walking and touches on stretching techniques for the Psoas muscle.
It appears from reading Neuromuscular therapy text books and various articles that posture impacts and modulates all bodily functions from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, blood pressure, mood, pulse and lung capacity are some of the conditions that are influenced by faulty posture. Making changes to your posture is a rewarding project to undertake and over time the improvements to your health are well invested.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a further tool that you can use to assist the change in your posture. By opening up the chest as the diaphragm unfolds it causes a natural retraction of the shoulder girdle preventing flexion of the thoracic spine that we see in Forward Head Posture. We tend to forget about the way we breathe and Diaphragmatic breathing is a skill we all need to master not only for posture but to decrease stress and increase energy in our bodies. It costs nothing just some time and a quiet place...your body will thank you.
Post treatment care is as important as the treatment itself and by following these tips you will maximise the benefits of the massage treatment. There are also 'normal' responses to treatment and they will pass fairly quickly over 48 hours following the treatment if you treat yourself to some 'self care'.
Post treatment muscle soreness: - Feels like the muscle has had intense workout/tender to touch.
1. Apply hot pack (wheat bag /hottie wrapped in towel) for no longer than 5mins to area. The heat will increase the blood flow to the area sending nutrients to the muscle tissue and help remove metabolic wastes. This will also help to re-energise the muscle.
2. Apply anti-inflammatory cream to area.
Headaches and/or general tiredness:
- Increase your normal water intake by 2-3 glasses today and over next 2 days to flush out metabolic wastes from your bloodstream that have been released from muscles during treatment.
- Have a hot shower/bath which is also good for your muscles. Add some essential oils in bath to relax with. Put on an extra layer and keep yourself and area treated warm.
- Emotions can be trapped in injuries/trauma of muscle tissues and when treated can be released. Try to be the 'observer' with these emotions and not upset yourself further, it will pass.
Activities to try and avoid 24hrs post treatment:
- Avoid intense physical work or exercise e.g stacking the wood, gym workout, long run or any other hard training session.
Stretching: Perform the stretch 3 x 3 sets daily on both sides (if instructed). Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.
- Follow the stretch instructions giving by your therapist. This reiterates to the muscle(s) treated that this is the new position we want it to remain in. It's basically reprogramming the neural pathways from your brain to the muscle itself. Doing your stretching will also minimise post treatment soreness and allow length and flexibility into the region preventing further muscle adhesions from forming.
Lovely to have you visit my new website. I hope it aids and inspires you to find out more about your body and the way it functions by reading some articles and checking out links that I'll keep resourcing for you.
Let me know if there is anything you would like to see more of on the website. Any feedback you have is most welcome!
Lesley is a registered and qualified Remedial Massage, Lymphatic & Lymphoedema Therapist based in Queenstown. She trained at Canterbury College of Natural Medicine and is a qualified Vodder Therapist. She has a special interest in surgical recovery, chronic pain especially low back/hip pain and reduction of lymphoedema/lipoedema/oedemas.