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Tag Archives: sports injuries

Why athletes should include massage into their fitness regimen

Why add massage into your fitness training regimen.

By: Claire Kenny 23/07/18

 

The overexertion of muscles through rigorous physical training and exercise can affect athletes’ performance and increase their risk for injury. In between those strenuous workouts, the body could use some pampering.

Regular massage supports the relaxation and recovery process after workouts, helping to prevent injuries; reduce swelling, muscle stiffness and fatigue; and achieve peak performance. And there are numerous other potential benefits that are conducive to your overall health and well-being.

Massage therapy helps improve muscle flexibility (which helps prevent injuries like muscle pulls and tears) and shorten recovery time as well as relieve muscle tension and pain, a remedy for common issues like delayed-onset muscle soreness.

But massage can benefit more than muscles, some research suggests that massage may also help:

  • Lower anxiety
  • Increase range of motion
  • Improve your mood
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Enhance blood flow and alertness

Massage is good for the body either before, during or after athletic events. Sports massage incorporates Swedish (for improved circulation) and deep tissue techniques, among others. Athletes, or anyone who does strenuous exercises on a regular basis, should speak with a massage therapist about specific needs and concerns in order to determine how often massages are necessary and which techniques are most appropriate.

Your injury or needs will determine the focus of the therapy.  Often times, an athlete has a specific area in which they are experiencing pain, limited range of motion, etc. That area, in addition to the supporting muscles and connective tissue, is addressed.

A full body massage at another time, maybe within a week or two, is also very helpful for the whole body compensates for an injury, and an injury heals more quickly when the rest of the body is free of limitations.

 

Manual Lymphatic Drainage and how it may help you.

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is an advanced therapy in which a specifically trained therapist applies gentle, light, but precise hand movements to the skin, exerting different intensities of pressure to increase the activity of normal lymphatic vessels.

This encourages lymphatic fluid away from congested areas by bypassing ineffective or injured lymph vessels.

The treatment is very gentle and a typical session involves drainage of the neck, trunk, and the affected extremity (in that order), lasting approximately 40 to 60 minutes. The technique was pioneered by Doctor Emil Vodder in the 1930s for the treatment of chronic sinusitis and other immune disorders.

MLD benefits conditions such as:
Lymphoedema (Primary and Secondary)
Lipoedema
Injuries, including Sport Injuries
Toxins in the body and associated inflammatory conditions e.g sinusitis, eczema, digestive issues.
Pregnancy-related Swelling
Pre- and post-surgery
Hormonal Imbalance
Infertility
Lymphoedema
Lymphoedema (also Lymphedema) is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes swelling (oedema) in the body’s tissues. It can affect any part of the body but usually develops in the arms or legs. It develops when the lymphatic system cannot function normally. This may be as a result of damage to or removal of lymph nodes during treatment for cancer (Secondary Lymphoedema), or it may be
hereditary (Primary Lymphoedema).

If you are affected by this condition or are at risk of developing it due to recent cancer treatment, it is vital to keep yourself informed of potential triggers. It is recommended that you see an appropriately trained therapist as soon as possible.

Lipoedema
Lipoedema is a long-term (chronic) condition typically involving an abnormal build-up of enlarged fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks. It can be recognised by the extreme sensitivity of the skin and the presence of small lumps and bumps under the skin. The condition is more common in women but can affect men.

Treatment of Injuries
MLD works directly on the lymphatic system and is an effective, fast-working and pain-free technique, which assists the body in removing oedema (swelling) from an injury site.

Applying ice to an injury can prevent oedema. However, when the oedema is already present the waiting game begins and this can slow down the healing process and delay any necessary physiotherapy or physical therapy.

MLD speeds up the healing of fractures, torn ligaments and sprains and other sports injuries reducing the associated pain and getting you back to the sports field more quickly.

Detox
The lymphatic system is essentially the engine of the immune system and when that engine becomes blocked or sluggish it can have a negative impact on the entire body, from digestive issues, to congested sinuses, skin problems and poor energy levels.

MLD enhances the flow of fluid throughout the lymphatic system and improves the body’s ability to cleanse from the inside out, which is why it is a popular treatment for those interested in maintaining good health.

Pregnancy-related swelling
Self-care is important at this special time.

Mum’s-to-be can benefit greatly from regular sessions of MLD as it is a very relaxing therapy, helping to keep stress-levels in check and it relieves fluid congestion: e.g. swollen ankles, tired puffy eyes and swollen legs.

Post-Surgery
Recommended by many surgeons, MLD effectively and painlessly reduces bruising and oedema, accelerating the healing process and reducing the risk of infection and other complications.

Fertility
The lymphatic system is essentially the engine of the immune system and works hand in hand with the endocrine system (the body’s system of glands and hormones). Thus MLD, alongside other natural therapies and attention to diet and lifestyle, may assist the body to achieve balanced hormone levels, including luteinising hormone, which is responsible for ovulation.

Achieving and maintaining balance in the body can be a catalyst for conception as a lowered or impaired immune system causes the body to become prone to inflammation and disease.

The emotional impact of infertility also plays an important role. MLD gently stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn calms the sympathetic nervous system, helping to reduce stress levels.

For more information you can contact Aideen directly on 0851528969.

Written by Aideen Schweppe

Kinesio-taping – why you need this in your life!

So you may be wondering, ‘what is this Kinesio-taping thing all about’?

 

Well, put in simple terms, Kinesio-taping is the application of a specific form of tape/sports tape in order to facilitate the body’s natural healing process, providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion.

 

The tape is applied to the skin by a specifically trained therapist, usually in conjunction with another therapy, massage for example.

The beauty of Kinesio-tape is it’s versatility. It is safe for all ages and can be left on the skin for several days.

It can be applied to enhance your Lymphatic Drainage treatment, whether you are having MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage) for treatment of Lymphedema, sports injuries or swollen ankles during pregnancy.

It’s also very beneficial for treating repetitive strain injuries, in conjunction with deep tissue massage.

And for pain management it can provide instant relief in many cases, a wonderful alternative to pain killers and anti-inflammatories (where appropriate).

 

As a therapist with many years experience in massage, MLD, yoga and nutrition, I am always learning and adding to my skill-set in order to provide the very best care for my clients. So it is my pleasure to be able to add this very effective technique to the list. On a case-by-case basis I can asses which combination of the above therapies is most suitable for your injury/ongoing issue.

 

All too often we ignore our aches and pains because we can’t quite put our finger on the cause, or indeed the most suitable solution. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away!

 

Come and see me so we can talk about your treatment options. Call reception on 01 8310888

Aideen Schweppe (BA, Dip ITEC, MLD Vodder)

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