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Massage Offerings & Your Training

First measure, then improve

How to Incorporate Massage into Your Training
The efficacy of massage for endurance athletes will be most effective when incorporated strategically during training, pre-race or event preparation, and post-event recovery.  Since people recover and respond differently to massage, it is recommended that you come in for an introductory session to talk over your training & recovery regimen, athletic goals, and for us to get an idea of where you are physically.  If you would like to learn a little bit more and discuss your particular needs, please contact our Massage Therapist, Ngoc Tran.  That being said, generally massage for athletes would be incorporated as outlined below.  

To SCHEDULE any of the types of massages listed below, go to our Schedule Massage Therapy page.

Pre-Race/Event Preparation
The week before race day, the massage and bodyworks we use will be gentle in nature.  It is designed to help you relax and minimize stress while at the same time warming your body up to prevent a cold start.  The days before race day, a relaxing Swedish or a calming craniosacral session will help athletes stay fresh physically and to maintain a calm mental focus.  Then directly before the race, a quick session that utilizes techniques to warm up musculature is ideal.

Post-Race/Event Recovery
Immediately after a very intense excursion, the body will go through an inflammatory response; therefore, any bodywork and massage session will be gentle, calming and supportive in nature.  Then, as the soreness lessens, depending on your body response, we will embark on a series of general and specific sessions designed to work out any restrictions that may have occurred during the competition.

During Training
During training, there are three areas of massage that you may want to utilize.

1. Training Maintenance/Tune-up - General:  Directly after or the day after an intense workout, you will want to receive a general post-training massage to facilitate faster and easier recovery, and to minimize adhesions, restrictions, and trigger points.  Since this is, overall, a lighter massage you do not need to take time out, but can continue on with intense training the next day.  This massage will help lessen tenderness and stiffness as it facilitates blood and lymph circulations within the body.  By assisting the body to push fluids, the focus is more on working with a group of musculatures than on a specific grouping of muscle fibers.  The massage techniques are more general with strokes that are long and slow with light to medium pressure.

2. Injury Recovery/Maximizing Performance - Specific:  This type of massage is needed if you are in the process of recovering from an injury, or have noticeable imbalances, stiffness, and tenderness in relation to gait, posture and/or pedaling.  When you need deeper work, it means that your body has developed enough adhesions, trigger points, and scar tissue to affect the functional & structural integrity of your musculoskeletal system.  Your movements become noticeably weaker, stiffer, and less precise.  The purpose of massage in this situation, is to increase circulation and range of motion and to promote efficient, ease of movement for all affected areas.  The massage techniques are more precise in nature and incorporate different variations of neuromuscular therapy, in addition to deep tissue, myofascial, visceral manipulation, foot compression and heat/cold therapy.  In working with a deeper layer of muscles, the approach is slow and methodical in nature.  Restrictions are released one layer of muscles and connective tissues at a time. Continual dialogue with the massage therapist is kept to ensure proper and speedy recovery. 

Deeper, more detailed massages like this require 72 hours of rest as your body adjusts and heals.  Expect to feel some soreness.  You can do some light therapeutic movement to help the body integrate new lengths, but always remember to be cautious and stop before feeling fatigue physically.  It is recommended to receive this type of massage during active recovery periods or before scheduled rest days.   

3. Athletic Performance Optimization (See Below):  There are also other massage modalities and specialties such as visceral manipulation, craniosacral, and assisted stretching that you may want to incorporate within your training.  They are very therapeutic in nature, and will help tremendously in optimizing health and athletic potential.  Further, since they require no active recovery time, you can receive them anytime.

How often should you schedule massages?
Ideally, you want to have some form of massage and bodywork session everyday, but since that is not practical for most people, it is suggested that elite athletes should invest at least two hours of massage and bodywork a week.  Recreational athletes will have more flexibility.  Depending on needs, you can taper your sessions throughout your training cycle for the most benefit, or you can receive them on a cycle of once a week, or once every two weeks.        

Types of Performance Optimization Massages       

Visceral Manipulation/Psoas release
The iliopsoas muscles are the main flexor of the hip; therefore, not only do they play a major part in maintaining a healthy back, and strong stable core, the iliopsoas also influence postural and gait stability, and spinal integrity.  As these muscles lie deep to the abdominal, when working the iliopsoas, you have to incorporate visceral work for maximum benefits.  As a result, additional benefits include healthier digestive system and a stronger awareness of diaphragmatic breath.

Visceral (Abdominal) Manipulation
It is found that 90% of neuromuscular dysfunction has a visceral component.  Therefore, in order to receive the most benefits from manual therapy, you have to pay careful attention to the healthy functioning of your viscera.  With consistent care, visceral manipulation helps to release restriction, and improve circulation and movement in your viscera.  This will prevent stagnation, promote absorption of the body’s nutrients, and facilitate healthy elimination of digestive waste.  In so doing, visceral manipulation will help with any visceral related problems such as acid reflux, stress, difficulty breathing, abdominal and back pain, constipation, weak core, and loss of appetite.

Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy is a subtle yet powerful form of self-awareness and healing.  The goal is to release fascial restrictions that surround the central nervous system through gentle touches; this, in turn, will improve the flow of cerebral spinal fluid and undo deeply held pattern of stress, injuries, and/or trauma.  Through this therapy, the receiver will experience many benefits to his/her emotional, physical, and psychological well-being.  Often time, the receiver will feel a deep sense of contentment, renewal, and connection to the environment.

Assisted Stretching
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) and muscular energy technique (MET) are two methods of stretching that use the principles of physiology to help increase flexibility and range of motion, while at the same time, promote efficient and precise motor functioning of musculatures in a very short period of time.   They are safe and enjoyable alternative to stretching where you can see and feel immediate results.  With this style of stretching, I will guide you through a series of movements and gentle isometric contractions designed to isolate and stretch the intended muscle group.   PNF and MET can certainly be done by yourself, but with a partner who has an understanding of anatomical functioning, you will get the most integrated benefits.

 

 
         
Main St. & Red Hill Ave. Irvine, CA 92614
949-752-2080 (call or text)
(866) 742-2196 toll free (call only)
Store Hours:
Mon - Fri: 10:30-6
Sat: 8-5, Sun: 12-5
 
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