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Sports Massage in Richmond

What is Sports Massage?

Sports Massage is a specific type of massage that is generally aimed at people practicing sport. In more recent years it has become more common for non-sport people to benefit from Sports Massage as its effectiveness for improving performance, which includes day-to-day activities, is now widely recognised.

Sports massage deals with the optimising of soft tissue in order to improve performance,  function and movement. Soft tissue also known as connective tissue includes the skin, muscles, tendon and ligaments. In other words the tissue that is not part of the bone and ligament.

The use of sports massage therapy, before and after exercise, can improve performance and accelerate the healing and recovery rate whilst preventing injuries.

Sport Massage Historically

Massage therapy has been recorded far back as 3,000 years and was in use in Countries like Greece, Turkey, India and China. “In ancient Greece athletes used massage prior to and after competing while Romans recognised the benefits for injured gladiators. Coming into the 1950s and 60’s the Russians and East Germans developed sports massage techniques which are now mainstream.” (source:

In the UK sport massage become popular and accepted during the 90’s.

Sport Massage Therapists Skills and Training

Sports massage therapists and sport therapy in general require a significant amount of training and preparation and will typically include practical and theoretical knowledge of the following areas:

  • Sports massage
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Ethics and professionalism
  • Biomechanics
  • Advanced manual therapy skills
  • Injury evaluation and treatment
  • Gait analysis
  • Rehabilitation from injury
  • First Aid and progressed injury care
  • Use of kinesiology tape
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Corrective exercises and stretches
  • Sport nutrition

Sport Massage 4 key Techniques

1) Tapotement (Tapping) Technique

Tapotement is a French word which means ‘Tapping’. It includes movements such as hand chopping, cupping and tapping. “Tapotement is a specific technique used in Swedish massage. It is a rhythmic percussion, most frequently administered with the edge of the hand, a cupped hand or the tips of the fingers.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Benefits of the Tapping (Tapotement) Technique: 

  • Stimulating nerve endings 
  • Aids in decongestion
  • Increase blood flow
  • Toning atrophied muscles
  • Pain relief

2) Effleurage Technique (to skim) 

Effleurage is a technique using a repeated circular stroking movement made with the palm of the hand. defines it as “a massage technique in which long, light strokes are used over areas of the body. The most common areas of the body for effleurage are the arm, back, thigh and calf.

Benefits of the Effleurage Technique: 

  • It can stimulate lymphatic drainage 
  • Stretches the tissues
  • Help detect the state of the soft tissue
  • It warms, soothes and relaxes the body and mind
  • Slow effleurage calms the nervous system
  • Fast effleurage stimulates the nervous system
  • Reduces tension and muscle tightness
  • Relieves tired and achy muscles

3) Petrissage Technique (to knead)

Petrissage is a technique that involves kneading the soft tissue. The word petrissage comes from the French and refers to ‘kneading’. The technique may include stretching, squeezing, kneading soft tissue.

Wikipedia defines petrissage as: “… massage movements with applied pressure which are deep and compress the underlying muscles. Kneading, wringing, skin rolling and pick-up-and-squeeze are the petrissage movements. They are all performed with the padded palmar surface of the hand, the surface of the finger and also the thumbs.”

Benefits of the Petrissage Technique:

  • Soft tissue elasticity
  • Muscle waste product removal
  • Stimulates the skin
  • Promotes vascular response
  • Promotes lymphatic response
  • Increases portability between tissue interfaces

4) Friction Technique 

According to “Frictions are a type of massage which applies force across soft tissue structures. Frictions are an effective technique to break up adhesions, help break down scar tissue and realign tissue fibres.”

Physio-pedia defines it as: “… a massage technique used to increase circulation and release areas that are tight; particularly around joints and where there are adhesions within the muscles or tendons. Friction is defined as “an accurately delivered penetrating pressure applied through fingertips.” 

Benefits of the Friction Technique: 

  • Recover from muscle strains
  • Break down adhesions
  • Break down scar tissue
  • Restore flexibility
  • Speed up recovery
  • Realign new scar tissue
  • Stimulates blood flow
  • Heal ligament lesions

    Get a Sports Massage In Richmond

    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 and more intensive training sessions time after time.

    How to Book your Sport Massage Session

    You can book a Sport Massage which is available in 30 minute and 60 minute slots. One of our trained sport massage therapists will deliver the treatment in the safe and healing environment of our dedicated private treatment room.

    Get your Sports Massage at our Richmond-based Healing Hands Clinic, for measurable results. Aside from Sports Massage Therapy we also deliver the following:

    • Deep Tissue Massage
    • Neuromuscular therapy
    • Lymphatic drainage massage
    • Myofascial release
    • Trigger point therapy
    • Sports massage

    To book your Sports Massage Session or Soft Tissue Massage Assessment contact our 24/7 booking line on 020 8948 9102