Our Massage Techniques
This technique uses long gliding strokes to warm and lengthen muscles and to create that ahhhhh feeling. Many people refer to Swedish as a ‘spa massage’ because it’s so relaxing and meditative but some Swedish techniques are also used to prepare the muscles to handle more aggressive types of massage like deep tissue, neuromuscular and sports. The greatest benefits of Swedish massage include increased circulation of blood and lymph, and decreased muscle tension and mental stress.
Deep Tissue Massage
This technique incorporates more pressure and precision to break up knots in muscles, tendons, fascia and other connective tissues. The focus here is to restore full use of the muscle and increase the range of motion. Although deep tissue is used frequently for overuse injuries in athletes, it’s just as often employed for people who suffer with pain from work that requires them to maintain suboptimal posture for long periods of time like surgeons, hair stylists, frequent travelers and those who sit at a computer daily.
Sometimes referred to as ‘Trigger Point Therapy’ or ‘NMT’ this type of massage is focused on releasing tight adhesions where referral symptoms are present; meaning that when one area of the body is palpated, pain, tingling or numbness is felt in another. Neuromuscular massage techniques are often used in conjunction with sports and/or deep tissue work.
Though many of the same techniques used for sports massage are found in other massage work (such as Swedish, Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular,) the focus is primarily on performance. This includes both injury recover as well as injury prevention. A thorough understanding of the particular sport’s movements and risks is essential for the practitioner of sports massage as well as detailed knowledge of the athlete’s current training plan. Both passive and active stretching techniques are frequently employed. Sports massage can be used prior to, during and after key competitions to improve performance.
Benefits of Massage
Managing stress is something we all struggle with. Therapeutic massage therapy has been proven in clinical studies to reduce cortisol levels and increase serotonin and dopamine. If you’ve ever had a good massage, you don’t need a study to tell you that. Taking the time for a massage is a great way to give yourself a mental and physical break from the constant stress of a busy life. The time you take for yourself to better manage stress will more than pay you back by increasing your overall productivity and even improving your relationships.
Whether you’ve got chronic pain from a previous sports injury or you’re dealing with increased muscle soreness as an active person past your 40s, therapeutic massage therapy is a great way to help manage it. Better pain management will help you maintain and increase your range of motion and flexibility; all of which allows you to do what you love doing more.
Enhanced Athletic Performance
As a sports massage therapist for the University of Alabama’s Track Team and Swim Team as well as UAB’s football team, we’ve seen first hand the benefits sports massage has on elite athletes. But what about the amateur athlete? As more of us continue to push our physical boundaries, it’s clear that we need recovery and maintenance just as much as the elites. Therapeutic massage therapy helps you recover faster and with less pain after a peak training week or a peak performance. It’s also useful getting you ready both mentally and physically for the big day. And with regular maintenance, muscular training imbalances and injuries can often be identified and treated BEFORE they become the kind of injuries that keep you on the bench.
Assist with Injury Recovery
Helping you get back to your active lifestyle is what we’re all about. Numerous studies have proven that deep tissue massage can decrease muscular pain and decrease recovery time. We also (with your permission) communicate with your Physical Therapist, Orthopedic doctor, Sports Medicine doctor or Chiropractor to make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to your recovery plan. Sometimes the original injury is just part of the problem. For example, wearing a surgical boot to isolate a stress fracture can sometimes cause muscle imbalances and tight compensatory musculature on the ‘good’ side of the body. Massage therapy can help keep those acute injuries from causing more systemic issues.