Richmond Deep Tissue & Sports Massage Therapy

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage is a specialised therapy that reaches beyond the superficial layers of muscle and directly treats the more profound skeletal muscles and fascia.

“Deep tissue work creates physiological changes in the tissue that then create systemic changes,” “By allowing layers to move independently and slide or glide over each other, we can improve the bigger-picture, posture, lengthen the spine, and improve the quality of the soft tissue.”

This technique often involves the therapist using a firmer pressure to reach the key areas and get them to release, which is why this particular massage is often recommended for people who are comfortable with a more intense touch.

Will Deep Tissue Massage Benefit me?

Deep Tissue Massage Therapy provides all the benefits of Sports massage therapy discussed earlier but goes that bit further.

When an athlete’s training schedule is prolonged or unusually intensive this can lead to an “overload” or “tightness” in the more profound muscles of the body. A chronic injury or a propensity for muscle overload which is overlooked or “trained around” will also lead to the same problem. In these cases Deep Tissue work is usually the best remedy.

It is important to remember if you do not consider yourself to be an “athlete” you can still benefit from this type of massage therapy. Your day to day work may involve movement or require a certain posture that can create these symptoms.

Sports Massage Therapy vs Deep Tissue Massage

After fifteen years providing Sports and Deep tissue massage therapy, for me, both disciplines often overlap during a treatment session. As a therapist the pressure I use during treatment is very specific to what I am presented with. There are common techniques within both disciplines and it could be said that the degree of pressure used is the difference.

For these reasons the following article talks about Sports and Deep Tissue Massage Therapy simultaneously. Most therapists will use a mixture of the disciplines they are trained in during a single treatment if it is beneficial to the client and the outcome of the session. Certainly in my experience I have found this to be a very effective method

How experienced is your Deep Tissue & Sports Massage Therapist?

Martin Whitney is a Deep tissue massage and sport massage profesional with 15 years of experience. He skilfully activates muscles and helps patients recover from injuries, pains and postural imbalances. He’s also a qualified personal trainer which allows him to treat and guide his patients with expert advice. He’s been trained in neural muscular activation techniques and his comprehensive massage therapy integrates all his experience and technical know-how to deliver the best deep tissue and sports massage therapy he’s capable of delivering.

“Mastering the application of sports and deep tissue massage takes years of education and experience, not to mention a love of sport. No one modality, technique or approach works every time. It is the love of what you do, and the people you work with, that enable you to perfect your sports and deep tissue massage techniques.”

Deep Tissue Massage & Sports Massage in 2020

Sports and Deep Tissue massage therapy is now widely recognised in the training industry as an accepted component to an overall regimen of training and competition. This means the athlete can enhance and reduce recovery periods, enabling better more intensive training sessions time after time.

“Sports and deep tissue massage is the specific application of massage techniques used to achieve a specific goal.”

That being said the techniques used and the benefits gained with sports and deep tissue massage therapy apply equally to non athletes. Modern day life exposes us all to prolonged incorrect posture, hours sat at a desk, repetitive movements in manual work or long crowded travelling times etc. And this will result in tight muscles, fatigue and if not addressed, in pain and discomfort and possibly minor injuries.

Deep Tissue and Sports Massage is a safe and effective form of treatment, when applied by an experienced profesional, to address pain caused by day-to-day life’ stresses to help you stay in top shape, pain free and working at optimum levels.

Three key things to consider when applying Sports & Deep Tissue Massage

Timing

Refers to when the massage is given, pre or post event, during recovery, during a maintenance period or when an athlete/client suffers an injury that requires rehabilitation.

Technique

Refers to what specific techniques are used during the massage and this will be dependant on “Timing” and “Intent”.

Intent

Refers to the reason or reasons for treatment ie. as a warm-up, to increase blood flow, stimulate neurological pathways, aid recovery from injury, increase flexibility, improve strength or improve posture.

Understanding sports and deep tissue massage is never as simple as learning one technique or type of modality … or just “working deep.” A massage therapist who understands the three key principles of sports and deep tissue massage should be able to apply the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time.

2 Physiological benefits of Deep Tissue & Sports Massage

1.Relaxation

Muscles relax through the heat generated during the massage, the improvement of circulation and the stretching effect. Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.

2. Pain Reduction

Pain is a sign of overworked and/or injured muscles or connective tissue and is not healthy. Sports & deep tissue massage therapy increases blood and lymph flow, which flushes out waste products, releases tension and stimulates the release of natural endorphins. This all contributes to speeding up the rehabilitation, recovery process and reducing pain.

8 Physical benefits of Deep Tissue & Sport Massage

1. Stretching, Flexibility and Tissue Elasticity

Prolonged and/or repetitive training can make muscle tissue hard and inelastic. Massage therapy reverses this effect by stretching tissue that can´t be stretched by the usual methods. Muscle fibre bundles are stretched along their length as well as laterally. The sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle is also stretched, thus releasing tension and greatly improving range of motion.
Professional and dedicated amateur athletes can often over-train and this leads to muscle rigidity. Deep tissue & Sports massage therapy can help relax overly tense muscles and provide additional flexibility. Used before a competition it can greatly improve performance.

2. Breaks down scar tissue

Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma that results in broken fibres and can affect muscle, tendons, and ligaments. As scar tissue is hard and inflexible it can impair movement and cause pain. Massage Therapy breaks down scar tissue to leave the least amount necessary and encourages repair.

3. Opens micro-circulation

Sports Massage therapy helps to increase blood flow by opening or dilating the blood vessels through stretching, thus enabling nutrients to pass through with greater ease.

4. Pumping

Long firm strokes draw fluid through blood and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure of the stroke a vacuum is created which causes the fluids to be drawn in. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscles. Tight muscles do not allow normal blood flow thus depriving the tissue of oxygen, vital nutrients and the energy to repair itself.

5. Shortens Recovery Time

Exercise and competition is stressful on the body. This will lead to injury if proper precautions are not taken. Sports & deep tissue massage therapy is ideal to help the body deal with this stress and avoid injury. A professional sports massage increases blood and lymph flow, assisting in the body’s natural healing process, speeding up waste removal and general health improvement. Swelling and inflammation associated with physical activity are also reduced.

6. Supplies Oxygen and Nutrients

Blood flow into muscles is vital to creating new tissue and increased strength and stamina. Massage increases blood flow, therefore increasing oxygen and nutrient supply.

7. Helps Eliminate By-Products of Exercise

Lactic and uric acids are natural by-products of exercise. Each can be reduced with increased blood and lymph flow, there by improving the elimination of waste products.

8. Increases tissue permeability

Deep tissue & sports massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products like lactic and uric acid and encourages the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them with recovery.

Psychological Benefits of Sport & Deep Tissue Massage

Psychological Benefits

There is much to be said about psychology and sports. Many people do not realise the value of sports/deep tissue massage therapy and how a quality massage has more than just physical benefits. The body is only as strong as the mind, so having a strong mind that is relaxed and focused is a definite edge in highly competitive sports as it is in everyday life. A stressed athlete is not nearly as capable as one with a clear mind.