What is sports massage and how did the term ‘Sports Massage’ come about.

I have been lucky enough to be taught be Mel Cash, the principle tutor at the ISRM, a lecturer and author, he explains as follows “The term ’Sports Massage’ appeared as the title of my first book in 1988 and it was the right title for the book at that particular time. Back in the 1980’s the most common use of massage was in the sex industry (No! That’s not how I started). So we needed an abstract title which gave the instant message that this was a modern new approach to massage that had nothing to do with sex.
‘Sports Massage’ was never indented to be a descriptive title because it is meaningless. You can’t massage a sport! You can only massage a person who happens to do sport, as well as the many other activities in their life.
My first book ‘Sports Massage’ (Ebury Press) was never about how to do massage anyway. It described how to use massage and other more advanced techniques to improve the recovery of common sports injuries.”

Mel Cash goes on to explain how ‘Sports massage turned into a ‘mini-industry’ – “Organisations that were already training massage therapists for the spa, beauty and leisure industry started to teach the same basic massage routine but with much more heavy pressure and called it ‘Sports Massage’. Because it has no real meaning who could say this was wrong, and with the newly emerging fitness industry at that time it really caught on”

So whats the difference between a sports massage therapist and a Soft Tissue Therapist?

Many people are being misled by the term ‘Sports Massage’ due to the fact that injuries are common in sport so it is easy to imagine that a Sports Massage will be able to treat these injuries. Don’t get me wrong, a ‘sports massage’ or deep tissue massage as we call it plays a vital role in the prevention of injury however sports massage therapists do not undertake the same training as soft tissue therapists, they may be able to provide releif of an injury by giving a good massage however without the additional training that the ISRM soft tissue therapy diploma offers with the assessment and treatment skills needed to safely treat any injuries.

Sports massage is a very small part of the training that was taught, the qualification offers a much higher clinical level than a sports massage course. The aim of my training was to be able to safely assess and treat all minor and chronic injuries whether caused by playing a sport or any other lifestyle factors. With any treatment I provide, my aim is to work with my patient to yes initially get them out of pain however go one step further and identify the underlying cause of an injury and offer a more long term solution. As soft tissue therapists, have been trained in numerous treatment techniques passed down from massage therapists, physiotherapists and osteopaths which include massage, Muscle energy technique (MET), Neuromuscular technique (NMT), Soft Tissue release (STR) and other really effective techniques which I often combine to give the best results for my patients.

Everyone suffers with injuries at some time in their life and this can severely affect you quality of life and it is often hard to find the treatment you require. Main-stream medicine is good a treating more serious conditions but who deals with all these minor and chronic conditions and injuries? Soft Tissue Therapists!

Contact the clinic if you wish to discuss your condition or book an appointment online to start your road to recovery.

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