RELIEF | RESTORE | RECOVERY
REJUVENATE | RELAX
Therapeutic Massage Therapy
To Schedule An Appointment
Text : 949.656.9429
Sports Massage is targeted to support fitness, help reduce the demands the sport places on the body, increase the ability to perform the sport, and enhance and shorten recovery time.
Who is an Athlete? What is fitness?
An Athlete is a person who participates in sports as an amateur or as a
professional. Athlete trains the nervous system and muscles to professional.
Athletes require precise use of their bodies. The athlete trains train the
nervous system and muscles to perform in a specific way. Often the
activities involves repetitive use of one group of muscles more than others,
which may result hypertrophy and changes in strength, movement patterns,
connective tissue formation, and compensation patterns in the rest of the
body. These factors contribute tot he soft tissue difficulties that often
develop in athletes.
Fitness is a lifestyle. It is a body/mind/spirit endeavor. One who os fit
typically lives a moderate life in a relative simple way. Characteristics and
behaviors enable a person to have the highest quality of life, and over all
state of health, and the maximum degree of adaptive capacity to respond
to the environment, as determined by genetic predisposition. There is a
balance in the human experiences of energy expenditure and recovery,
and the ease of this reflects one's fitness.
Fitness and Wellness represent relatively the same realm. Fitness is
necessary of everyone's wellness, but the physical activity of an athlete
goes beyond fitness; it is performance based. Performance is the capacity
to complete sport-specific activity with skill and competence. For optimal
performance, fitness is a prerequisite.
Because of the intense physical activity involved in sports, an athlete may
be prone to injury. Massage can be very beneficial for athletes if the
professional performing the massage understands the biomechanics
required by the sports. If the specific biomechanics are not understood,
massage can impair optimal function in the athlete's performance
When accumulated strain develop for any reasons, the fitness/ wellness
balance is upset. Illness and/ or injury can result. For competing athletes,
a major strain is the demand of performance. Performance exceeds fitness,
requiring increased energy expenditure, which is turn strains adaptive
mechanisms and increased recovery time. Fitness must be achieved before
performance, and fitness must be supported endure the ongoing strain of
peak performance, the highest of skill execution.
Those who has become deconditioned and are unfit owning to a
bad diet, lack of proper exercise, accelerated and multiple life
stresses, as well as other life style habits, will eventually experience
some source of illness or injury. This injury/ illness can be acute
such as sprained ankle, or of a chronic nature such as chronic
fatigue. There seem to be genetic tendency for a specific
breakdown to occur; this can be considered a genetic weak link.
It is likely that we all have these weak links, and that strain will
affect this area first.
Traumatic injury is injury caused by an unexpected event. Accidents are a
common cause of traumatic injury. Rehabilitation following this type of
injury often requires physical training. A person may not consider himself or
herself and athlete but may suffer the same results of stress joint pain, for
example. The goal of rehabilitation is function.
PEAK PERFORMANCE IS NOT PEAK FITNESS
Contrary to general beliefs, athletes. especially competing athletes, may not
be fit or healthy. In fact, they may be quite fragile in their adaptive abilities,
both emotional and physical. This means that any demands to adapt,
including massage, should be gauged by the athlete's adaptive capacity.
Lack of understanding about the demands placed on athletes often leads to inappropriate massage care. The assumption is that these are strong,
healthy, robust individuals, but this is not always true. They may be fatigued,
injured, in pain, immunosuppressed, or emotionally and physically stressed
and truly unable to adapt to one more stimulus in their life. Unless these
stressors are recognized and principle of massage therapy are correctly
applied, athletes may be subject to inappropriate massage that includes
invasive methods that at the every least are fatiguing and at worst, cause
Athletes experience body fatigue and brain fatigue. Massage can help
restore balance if properly applied. If the body is tried, do not task it more;
instead, help it rest. If the brain is tried, do not task it more; help it rest.
Often the best massage approach us the general nonspecific massage that
feels good, calms, and supports sleep. In physiologic terms, this produces parasympathetic dominance in the autonomic nervous system, which
support homeostasis and self-healing.
Experts specializing in the care of athletes are sports medicine physicians,
physical therapist, athlete trainers, exercise physiologists, and sports
psychologists. It is especially important for athletes to work under the
direction of these professionals to ensure proper sports form and training
protocols. The professional athlete is more likely to have access to these
professionals than recreational and amateur athletes, who may not have
the financial resources to hire training personnel and can incur injury
because of inappropriate training protocols.
Athletes depend on the effects of training and resulting neurologic
responses for precise functioning, as seen in the firing sequence of certain
muscles, This is especially important before the competition. Without
proper training and experience , it is easy for massage therapists to
disorganize neurologic responses if they do not understand the patterns
required for efficient functioning in the sport. The effect is temporary, and
unless the athlete is going to compete within 24 hours, it is usually not
significant. However, if the massage is given just before the competition,
the result could be devastating. Any type of massage before a competition
must be given carefully. If a massage professional plans to work with athlete
on a continuing basis, it is important that the practitioner really knows the
athlete and becomes part of the entire training experience.
For the athlete, his or her psychological state is crucial to performance;
often the competition is won in the mind. Massage therapists are not sports
psychologists. Remember that. However athletes look to us for support,
continuity, and feedback. Many athletes are very ritualistic about
pre-competition readiness. If massage has become part of that ritual and
the massage professional is inconsistent in main training appointment
schedules, an athlete's performance outcome can be adversely affected.
GOALS AND OUTCOMES FOR MASSAGE
Two of the most important goals of sports massage are to assist the athlete
in achieving and maintaining peak performance and to support healing of
injuries. Any massage professional should be able to recognize common
sports injuries and should refer the athlete to the appropriate medical
professional. Once a diagnosis has been made and a rehabilitation plan
developed, the massage professional can support the athlete with general
massage application and appropriate methods to enhance the healing
Many factors contribute to mechanical injury and trauma is sports. Trauma
is defined as a physical injury or wound sustained in sports and produced
by an external or internal force.
Healing mechanisms manifest as an inflammatory response and resolution
of that response. Different tissues heal at different rates. For example, skin
heals quickly, whereas ligaments heal slowly. Stress can influence healing
by slowing the repair process. Sleep and proper nutrition are necessary for
Typically, post-trauma massage is focuses in restoration sleep, pain
management, and circulation enhancement. During the acute healing
phase, contraindications may exist for deep transverse friction, specific
myofascial release, and extensive trigger point work. Medication use
particularly analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs for pain, is common,
and their effects must be considered. Pain medication reduces pain
perception so that the athlete can continue to perform before healing is
complete. This interferes with successful healing. Anti-inflammatory drugs
may slow the healing process, particularly connective tissue healing.
ONGOING CARE OF THE ATHLETE
Regular massage allows the body to function with less restriction and
accelerates recovery. This is a major focus of this textbook. Most athletes
require varying depths of pressure, from light to very deep, therefore,
effective body mechanics applied by the massage practitioner is essential.
Working with athletes can be very demanding. Their schedules may be
erratic, and their bodies change almost daily in response to training,
competition, or injury. Athletes can become dependent on massage to
maintain their performance level; therefore, commitment be the massage
professional is necessary.