Sports Massage is the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Sports massage is an effective therapy for releasing muscle tension and restoring balance to the body. Through management, manipulation and rehabilitation of the soft tissues of the body, it can be used to aid a variety of ailments/injuries.
If received regularly, it can help athletes prevent injuries that might be caused by overuse. Athletes will find a good sports masseur is invaluable to help their sports injuries and performance. Regardless of your experience in dance, sport or exercise or whether you exercise socially or perform at an international level - sports massage may have something to offer you. Sports massage can help relieve many day-to-day problems that everyone experiences.
Sports massage is not solely for athletes and sports injuries. Sports Massage includes treatment of the muscles and soft tissues of the body, and is suitable for anybody and a wide variety of conditions.
Benefits of Sports Massage
- Increases blood flow through the tissues, resulting in faster recovery time, removal of waste products and toxins.
- Through correct stretching, training and use of health equipment, your overall health awareness and understanding of the deep tissues will improve. You can use this knowledge to improve performance.
- Improve your range of motion, flexibility and performance.
- Muscular imbalance and damage in deep tissues can be detected and treated, minimising the risk of injury or further damage.
- Recipients can learn how to monitor their own condition and adjust their training accordingly.
- It can be applied pre-event to stimulate circulation, calm nervous tension and help prepare the dancer for optimal performance.
- It can be applied post-event to remove waste products/toxins, speed up recovery time and de-stress after a performance.
Is this your first appointment with Laban Health?
An hour session is advised.
If you are visiting a Sports Massage Therapist for a first appointment at Laban Health, please be aware that the first 10-15 minutes of the appointment will focus on a consultation, including relevant health history. It is advisable that you book a one-hour appointment if it's the first time you are visiting us.
When is a Sports Massage or a Deep Tissue Massage not appropriate?
For your own health and wellbeing, there are some situations when we may not be able to treat you with a Sports Massage/Deep Tissue Massage, because it could make an injury/health condition worse. We do not want you to turn up for an appointment unnecessarily. Here is a list of common things that affect our decision on whether we can treat you.
Bacterial, fungal or viral infections: If you are generally feeling unwell or have a bacterial, fungal or viral infections, massage could further spread infection around the body, and in addition, you could pass your infection onto the therapist. If you have a temperature/fever, sickness and/or diarrhoea, massage is not recommended.
Acute inflammation: If you have injured yourself recently and the injured site is still inflamed/swollen and hot, massage is not an appropriate therapy at this stage of the injury. Once the inflammation has reduced, and/or you have had the all clear from another therapist (for example osteopath, physiotherapist or GP), do come and see us. In this acute phase of an injury, it's advised that you apply the PRICED approach - Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Diagnosis.
Open wounds: Massage across open sores could increase damage and encourage infection.
Bone fractures: If you suspect a fracture, you need to first be assessed by X-ray. Massage could put pressure and further aggravate the fracture, causing further damage.
Joint dislocations: If you have dislocated a joint, it will be very painful and your movement will be restricted. The joint must be assessed by an orthopaedic specialist before massage is applied.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Often found in the calf, a blood clot can form in a vein. Massage could dislodge the clot and send it towards the heart. If you suspect a DVT, seek immediate medical advice.
Varicose veins: These normally occur on the back of the leg. Massage strokes are safe around the areas affected. Massage cannot be applied directly to areas with varicose veins, due to the risk of causing further severe bleeding.
Bleeding disorders: Deep massage techniques such as those used in sports massage may possible cause slight trauma and bleeding. For this reason, people with conditions such as haemophilia cannot be treated with a sports massage.
Source: Cash, M. (2012) Advanced Remedial Massage and Soft Tissue Therapy. UK: Elbury Press.
Sports Masseuse - Helen Wellington
Helen trained with the London School of Sports Massage in 1996 and specialises in massage for dancers. She has been a company massage therapist with the English National Ballet Company since 1996 and with the Royal Ballet Company since 2007.
Helen has been working at Laban Health since 2003. Helen has a passion for learning about the body's design and how muscular patterns influence movement and function. When working with dancers, Helen focuses on muscular balance in the body which facilitates its movement. At Laban Health, Helen is currently developing ideas on how massage techniques can be taught to dancers in order to help them understand their bodies better and to reinforce the importance of injury prevention and the dancer's own role in that process.
Sports Masseur - Dulani Stephenson
Dulani Stephenson has been working in the sports and health industry for over ten years he has a BSc honours in Sports Therapy, qualifications in aromatherapy, sports massage and a range of other complimentary therapies. He specialises in helping people, suffering from back pain, muscular injuries and stress. Dulani worked at the London 2012 Olympics, Paralympics and Olympic preparation events delivering sports massage to the athletes. During the period he was at the Olympics he attended advanced rehabilitation and massage seminars deliver by the IOC. He incorporates the various skills he has learned to deliver precisely tailored treatments to address the specific needs of his clients. His services can be utilised by all people ranging from professional athletes, dancers, office workers, accident victims to business people and businesses. Dulani has worked in the education industry as a lecturer teaching, anatomy and physiology, sports massage and has independently run health and fitness workshops. His experience and skills gained throughout his career within the sports and education industry are used to deliver a professional and high quality service to all clients.
Sports Masseur - Alan Brazier
Alan Brazier has been listed on Dance UK's website as a medical practitioner for the last 14 years. He has worked with Rambert dancers, Henri Oguike's company and dancers, as well as individuals from all areas of dance. He is also currently working with London Studio Centre at the Arts Depot North London, giving talks to all new students on methods of stretching and injury prevention, encouraging sports massage as part of the students' maintenance programme and not just for their injuries. Alan has also worked with several West End dancers and performers.