Massage is key to clearing toxins and lactic acid that builds up in muscles over time with activity. Massage is fantastic for finding sore spots, tension and fatigue in muscles.
However with my experience I have found that there is a few key features that make for an amazing massage.
It is not all about strong pressure. The art is being able to adapt the pressure to where you need it. Reading the body is important and knowing how to adapt the massage is essential. If not you will be left feeling sore and worse then before.
Treat all areas. Even if someone comes to me with a sore shoulder I will treat the whole back. The majority of non-traumatic injuries occur due to restrictions and problems elsewhere. Skiing all day with a stiff lower back will mean your turning your upper back and neck more. Therefore it is likely the pain will be felt higher up in the back but the problem is lower in the spine.
Relaxation is essential. I genuinely believe just by turning up to your massage you get some benefits. When you have been skiing or exploring the mountain all day just taking an hour out of your day and lying down, distracting yourself from the normal stresses of day to day life is important. Shutting off your mind and listening to soothing music is important.
Treat key spots in short sharp bursts. Lying clenching your teeth and fists, feeling like you want to punch your therapists does not have many benefits. Pain is a useful way to get muscles to relax but it needs to be used in moderation. Some areas of the body do not respond to pain well. These areas will not benefit from a lot of pressure with massage. Some areas do, however use in moderation as relaxation is also important.
No two massages should ever be the same. As therapists we are designed to read the body and formulate a plan for the treatment from what we find. Set patterns do not work. Everybody and everyday is different. As therapist we should select the techniques that will benefit the client in the situation they are in. This will not always be the same.
Your body is a machine. If there is a problem in any area it will have consequences to the whole body. Lack of sleep, heavy amounts of alcohol, poor diet and stress will all impact on the body. Taking some time to prioritise your self is important. When your car starts to tire what do you, take it to the garage and buy a new one. Unfortunately its not possible with your body, you only have one, look after it.
Believe it or not we do get the ability to have healing hands. However only if we use them properly.
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