Massage therapy is recognised as one of the oldest forms of medical treatment. The practice of using touch as a healing method derives from techniques rooted in ancient history. For centuries massage therapy was used for many medical and psychiatric conditions, however, as breakthroughs in medical technology and pharmacology developed, massage decreased in popularity. A revival of complementary medicine within the second half of the 20th century saw massage therapy become one of the most commonly used techniques. Massage therapy now stands alongside other professions as research continually supports its varying benefits.
Our professional staff at Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic have a wealth of experience working with patients to address their specific needs and expectations massage is often used alongside other therapies as part of a holistic treatment plan. With multiple professions available within the clinic, patients can be confident they are receiving treatment most appropriate to their needs.
Our highly qualified and professional massage staff at Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic in Newcastle, Jesmond and Alnwick have a wealth of experience working with patients with a variety of problems. Their expert hands are available to assist those of you with everyday strains and muscular tension to alleviate the discomfort felt whether it’s from the workplace or home. Their experience working with athletes of all levels allows them to quickly identify and address the individual’s needs and expectations, adapting treatment accordingly.
The art of massage therapy involves a wide range of ‘hands-on’ therapeutic techniques that focus on the body’s muscular and soft tissue framework. In order to understand the benefits and effects of massage, it is important to consider how the body responds physiologically.
Massage involves two types of responses:
- Mechanical responses as a result of pressure and movement as the soft tissue are manipulated.
- Reflex responses in which the nerves respond to stimulation.
The physical benefits of Massage Therapy can include:
- Increasing joint mobility and range of motion by reducing soft tissue tension.
- Increasing the elasticity and suppleness of scar tissue, which may be present following soft tissue damage.
- Relieving tightness, stiffness, spasms and restriction in the muscles and associated tissues.
- Encouraging muscle relaxation and stretching can facilitate increases in muscle flexibility.
- Massage can promote an increase in blood circulation, delivering the soft tissues with oxygen and nutrients, promoting decreases in muscle fatigue and soreness.
- Encouraging removal of toxins and waste products from the blood and muscles, which accumulate during physical activity.
- Reducing oedema (excess fluid in the tissues) and swelling (an inflammatory response following tissue damage) by increasing lymphatic drainage (the system by which waste products are removed from the body).
- Aiding the nervous system by means of stimulation or relaxation, depending on the nature of the massage.
- Helping to reduce pain, by facilitating the release of endorphins (hormones known to elevate mood).
- Increasing an overall psychological feeling of well-being.
Deep Tissue Massage (DTM)
This type of massage is used to address various complaints that can occur due to the everyday stresses of modern life such as driving and computer use. The techniques utilised during DTM focus on the deeper layers of muscle tissue using slow deep strokes and increased finger pressure, following or moving across the fibre’s of the muscles and associated soft tissues. Using a range of techniques, deep tissue massage can help to relieve stiffness, tightness, tension which develop due to overuse or incorrect use of the muscle tissues. Also, scar tissue, myofascial trigger points and adhesions can also be manipulated to reduce discomfort within a particular area.
Soft Tissue Massage (STM)
Soft tissue massage is seen as one of the most effective treatments available to address common muscular problems reducing stresses and tensions associated with muscle conditions and injuries. Techniques used are similar to that of DTM, however, use a lighter pressure and soft tissue release techniques to treat areas of tension, stiffness and tightness that occurs during everyday activities.
Treatment involves applying massage techniques to deep and superficial tissue adapting each treatment to address the patients particular needs and requirements.
A Swedish massage is the most common form of massage used to promote relaxation and ease tired and achey muscles. Swedish massage is generally performed as a whole body treatment, however, treatments can be concentrated on the back, shoulder and neck, both being very popular. During treatment, the therapist performs various strokes, adapting to suit the need of the patients, to warm and work the superficial tissues of the body, releasing tension and encouraging feelings of psychological well-being.
Sports Massage is a specialised form of massage that was developed to address the particular needs of participants of sports and exercise. Sports Massage is typically used before, during, and after physical events, and also as part of training maintenance during off-season, pre-season and post-season. The purpose of the sports massage is to prepare the performer for peak performance, to reduce the affects of fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries occurring. Sports Massage involves a firmer application of pressure, utilising a mixture of techniques ranging from Swedish, deep tissue, myofascial release, and facilitated stretching. Each treatment is tailored towards each athlete, depending on their requirements and demands of their training and competition.
Types of Sports Massage
Pre-event massage can be applied from 2 days to 2 minutes before physical activity. The application of pre-event massage is used to aid the performer in their preparation for their specific event. Therefore, the patient and therapist must establish what the patient requires to gain the most from the treatment session.
Post-event massage helps the body to recover from exercise and sporting activity. Very similar to a sports training massage, however, emphasis is on promoting circulation and lymphatic drainage, this type of massage helps the muscular system heal more efficiently and increase the removal of waste products from the working muscles, that occur naturally during physical activity and are responsible for muscle soreness post event.
Sports Training Massage
A general maintenance sports massage plays an important role in an athlete’s training regime and is an integral part within the management of a performers injury prevention programme. Regular massage can help maintain muscular elasticity and suppleness thus decreasing the opportunity for muscle injuries to develop. Improved recovery allows the athlete to train with increased intensity and frequency whilst reducing injury risk and muscular soreness that commonly restricts training progression.
So whether you’re a weekend warrior keeping fit, working in the sport and exercise industry or playing sport at amateur or professional level, incorporating a regular sports massage into your training schedule will benefit your overall performance and reduce the risk of injuries developing.
If you’re still unsure as to which treatment would be most beneficial for you, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced staff at the clinic, who will be more than happy to assist you in making the right decision to suit your personal requirements.