1. What is sports massage?
Sport massage is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, using manual techniques that include applying fixed or moveable pressure and causing movement of or to the body. Firstly, we'll chat about your areas of issue and then do a little assessment of what we can see and feel. Then we'll tailor your massage with your goals and needs in mind, employing a range of specific methods such as efflurage, petrissage, muscle energy techniques for stretching, soft tissue release and myofascial release, to get the results we want. Your goals may vary, depending on whether you are carrying an injury, are training to increase your sporting performance or you just need some life back in your legs!
2. Can you treat my injury?
Massage can be highly beneficial during injury rehabilitation. It reduces tension in muscles, aides healing by increasing circulation, can increase range of motion around joints and improve restrictions in connective tissue, improves the quality of scar tissue, and can be a massive boost for pain relief and well-being. We've treated conditions such as tennis elbow, runner's knee, frozen shoulder, Achilles tendon injuries, lower back pain, rotator cuff strain - to name but a few. However; we can't massage you in the first 24-48hrs of an acute injury, as we'd need to wait until any inflammation has gone down. We also can't massage ligaments or bones back together, so if you're really hurt please be sensible; rest, ice, compress, elevate and seek medical attention. If you're not sure if sports massage is right for your injury feel free to contact us with your diagnosis. Please note, a sports massage therapist is qualified to give you their clinical opinion, not a diagnosis - so please make sure you have seen a medical professional if you are unsure about what it is that you have done.
3. I'm not sporty. Can I still have a sports massage?
Yes, if you have issues relating to any functional movement your body does, it doesn't have to be classed as "sport". Does your back hurts from too much sitting at a desk? Do you calves hurt after long hours of walking in high heels? Then you can benefit from sports massage. However, if you are after a more relaxing massage, we can also offer a "Deep Tissue Relaxation" for back and shoulders, where we put our firm hands to task at a more relaxing pace. This is perfect for stress relief and for general aches, pains and stiffness. So just let us know what you need. (We can even put on some relaxing whale music if you want).
3. Sports massage - it should hurt, right...?
Yes and no... A sports massage therapist should not be trying to hurt you. However, it can sometimes feel somewhat uncomfortable, verging on painful (OK, sometimes yell-out-loud-painful...) But, - and here's the important bit - it should feel good. A satisfying, releasing kind of pain, like giving an itch a good, hard scratch. Not like getting stabbed in the leg with a blunt letter-opener. There's good pain and there's bad pain, and although it can be tricky to differentiate sometimes, we do not want you clenching your teeth and holding your breath until you're red in the face; we want you in the most relaxed state possible so we can sink deep into your muscles. There can be a misconception that it's always got to hurt to be doing you good but this is not case. (Some of our techniques can be wonderfully subtle, with lots of gain and very little pain!) Communication is key; you keep telling us how it feels, and it's our job to listen, be attentive and respectful. It's not uncommon to feel a tiny bit sore the day after, but this should disappear quickly, and you definitely shouldn't be left black and blue. (But if you do bruise like a peach, it's a good idea to mention this beforehand).
5. When is a good time for a sports massage?
Sports massage is great pre-event, post-event and for maintenance between all your sporting activities. However, if you've had a really heavy training day or you've just competed in an event it is best to wait a couple of days before having a sports massage, as the tissues can be sensitive. If you can't touch it without it hurting, then we won't be able to either. Also, there can be an adjustment period after having a massage, so it's best not to have your first-ever-massage the day before you do that really important competition you've been training for.
6. Is there anyone who can't have a sports massage?
There are a few contraindications of sports massage, so for our insurance and your safety we cannot treat people with the following conditions: acute injury (24-48hrs), fever, hypothermia, suspected DVT, cancer, first trimester of pregnancy, infectious diseases, skin diseases. Please also be aware we may not be able to treat you if you have: had recent operations, trapped nerves, slipped discs, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, complete rupture of soft tissue or broken bones. We are happy to discuss special cases, but please understand we have your best interests at heart.
7. How much clothing do I need to take off....?
Entirely personal preference, but the area(s) we'll be massaging will need to be exposed as easily as possible. If your area to be worked on is upper body, feel free to keep your lower half clothed and vice versa. However, it is quite usual for clients to just be in their underwear (as they are also covered by a modesty towel), or to bring stretchy gym shorts to pop on while they have the massage.
8. Do I need to bring a towel if I come to you? Will you bring towels with you if you come to me?
If you are booking a home-visit please provide your own towels. Two towels will be required, one to lie on and one to act as a modesty towel to cover your body that is not being massaged.
If you are attending the Greenwich treatment room towels can be provided (but you are more than welcome to bring one of your own if you want to lighten the environmental load of our washing machine).
9. How do I pay for my session?
Sessions can be paid in advance by bank transfer (an invoice will be written for you with payment details) or you can pay for your session on the day with cash or a credit/debit card using our SumUp contactless card machine.
10. What's your cancellation policy?
It is good etiquette to give a minimum of 24hrs notice if you can't make your session. Why do we ask this? For two reasons, firstly there are other people who may be desperate for a sports massage, so having at least a 24hr period allows us to give them the opportunity to book the session instead. And secondly, a minimum 24hr notice period is an industry standard for doctors, physios and most other medical practices, and we are a business like any other. When we can't fill a slot we lose money and other potential new clients, and this is especially felt by those of us who are self-employed. If you fail to give at least 24hrs notice you may be charged a higher fee when you next book an appointment or we may not take your booking at all. By giving us as much notice as possible we can then rearrange your session for the next mutually agreed time, give someone else the opportunity to have a sports massage when they might really need it, and not lose business ourselves - thanks in advance for your understanding.