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Sport massage enhances athletic performance and recovery. The most beneficial times for the professional athlete are: Pre-event massage at the performance site; the client is fully clothed and the therapist uses fast-paced and stimulating techniques which speeds the blood flow warms up muscles. The athlete is encouraged to focus on visualizing her success in the upcoming event. Post-event massage is also at the performance site; again through the clothes and this time the aim is to calm and flush toxins and waste products from the body reducing recovery time, enabling an athlete to resume training sooner. Injury recovery is sped up with massage therapy and will improve the quality of healing. Often athletic taping techniques are offered and can help prevent injury as well as protect the athlete from re-injury by limiting the movement in an injured joint to prevent excess or abnormal movement.
(AIS)-Active Isolated Stretching
AIS is a method of muscle lengthening and fascial release, developed by Aaron Mattes. It uses active movement and Reciprocal Inhibition (RI), but not isometric work, to achieve greater flexibility. The technique isolates the muscle to be stretched, and actively stretches it until the patient feels a ‘light irritation.’ After a hold for 2 seconds, the massage therapist then returns the limb to the start position. This action is repeated 8 to 10 times.
Medical Massage Therapy:
This is a name used in some jurisdictions where massage training may not cover rehabilitation. Therefore, this form of Swedish massage must be distinguished from other forms of massage and therapists who do not do rehabilitation. In these instances and in these jurisdictions, medics send patients with a prescription that directs the course of treatment to a massage therapist who does medical rehabilitation. This massage therapist will treat soft tissue injuries and a wide variety of illnesses. These treatments are often of short duration, like physiotherapy sessions, and deal with only the problem or injured area.
This therapy uses a few of the same modalities as massage therapy such as Swedish massage, joint mobilization, exercise and postural re-education. It does a few of the similar functions as an medical massage, such as focusing on pain relief, relaxation and regaining flexibility.
Swedish massage has become a catch all phrase for the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, including skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia. Most often performed with oil, lotion or massage cream.
This method is based on an osteopathic technique for finding and correcting cerebral and spinal imbalances or blockages that may cause tissue, emotional, and postural dysfunction. It involves assessing and addressing the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which can be restricted by trauma to the body. Through gentle work with the spine, the skull and its cranial sutures, the diaphragm, and the fascia, the restrictions of nerve passages are said to be eased, and the movement of CSF through the spinal cord can be optimized. No oils are used. Following from Osteopath William Sutherland’s cranial research and teachings from 1953, John E. Upledger developed his Craniosacral technique based on research on the cerebral spinal pulse developed by his Osteopathic colleagues at Michigan State University in the 1980’s. The Upledger Institute was founded in 1987.
Deep Connective Tissue
This is a form of intense work that aims to release Myofascial (connective tissue) restrictions in the body, and thereby frequently breaking up restrictive scar tissue and adhesions. Relief of chronic tension helps to increase the range of motion in the joints. These massage techniques tend to be slower and require the application of more pressure. The massage therapist applies the intense pressure to the deeper tissue structures of the muscle, in order to restore the length and flexibility to the fascia, a fibrous tissue that surrounds the muscles and organs. All clients are asked to inform their therapist immediately if and when the stroke pressure is too intense. Little or no oil or lotions is used.
Trigger Point Therapy:
Simply put, the therapist locates and deactivates trigger points. This therapy affects the muscles and connective tissues layers and deeper ligament structures. Applying these release techniques is very similar to acupressure.
Reflexology: One of the points on the feet are the solar plexus, this point corresponds to the nerve center where stress is stored.
What is Solar Plexus?
The SOLAR PLEXUS is a network of nerves, located behind the stomach and in front of the diaphragm, which sends energy impulses to the upper middle part of the abdomen. Its purpose is to help balance the sympathetic nervous system, regulate the functions of the organs, and restore calm. The solar plexus has been called the abdominal brain because it influences the nerves in the abdomen.
Spa Therapies and Treatments
A variety of hydrotherapy body treatments administered in spas using sugar scrubs, with a relaxation massage.
Herbal Thai Compression Balls and Hot Stones.
Is a method of stimulating reflex points in the foot, hand or ear that correspond to specific glands, organs or parts of the body. Stimulation of these reflex points results in increased energy or Qi and blood circulation, aiding lymph drainage as well as relieving stress and tension, thus allowing harmony to return to the body. An ear, nose, and throat specialist, William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. and Dr. Edwin Bowers brought the first version to the US in 1913; Fitzgerald claimed that applying pressure had an anaesthetic effect on other areas of the body. A further development occurred in the 1930s. Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist, mapped the entire body as it corresponded to the feet she called it “zone therapy” and used it to reduce pain. Ingham developed the work into the Ingham Reflex Method of Compression Massage, later known as reflexology. There are ancient versions of these systems and other similar practices from the east, China, India and Tibet and one brought to the US by Stanley Borroughs is known as Vita flexn
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Alleviate low-back pain
Improve range of motion.
Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
Ease medication dependence.
Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body's natural defense system.
Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
Improve the condition of the body's largest organ—the skin.
Increase joint flexibility.
Lessen depression and anxiety.
Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
Reduce post surgery adhesions and swelling.
Reduce spasms and cramping.
Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller.
Reflexology can improve blood circulation in the feet and throughout the body while corresponding for the body to pay attention to it self in areas needed. This is how the gentle stroking of the feet and the application of certain techniques improves blood flow to vital organs. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to these organs, which nourishes body tissues. If a part of the body is injured, foot reflexology can help repair the injured tissue.