Massage Q&A

David Wells. Sports Massage Therapist London.

Will it hurt? What are the benefits? What do I wear? When considering whether to book a sports massage treatment for the first time there are inevitably a lot of questions. So we cornered our leader, David Wells, and asked him for his As to the frequently asked Qs! This is what he said....

Q. I hear a lot of different terms to do with massage -  “deep tissue”, “soft tissue”, “sports massage”, “remedial massage” - what are the differences between them all?
A. Great question - it is very hard to pigeon hole the sort of therapy that we do. It is a deep tissue therapy that is focused towards particular areas of issue for not just sports folk but anyone that suffers from soft tissue issues. Really all of those terms describe the same kind of massage due to the versatile nature of the treatment and the variety of techniques that the therapist has available to treat issues in different ways.

Q. Does massage hurt? Do some types hurt more than others?
A. It can hurt from time to time as you work out bits of tension and ‘scar tissue’ but it doesn’t always have to hurt. Sports massage can be pretty sore but that kind of pain is usually a ‘good’ type of pain that feels like it ‘needs’ to be done / released.

Q. Is a sports massage only relevant if I regularly participate in sport?
A. Absolutely not - probably 70 % of the cases that come to us are non sports related.

Q. What are the key benefits of massage?
A. Pain relief, improvement in flexibility/range of movement, increased recovery from training, relaxation (which sounds crazy as we don’t do classic relaxation massage but you do feel a sense of calm afterwards).

Q. What do most people wear for massage?
A. Underwear, usually, but depends on what needs to be worked on. You only need to expose skin that needs to be treated!

Q. Is there anything I need to do in preparation for a massage?
A. Warming up is a good start - a fair bit of massage is about blood flow so, for example, if you can cycle for 5 mins before a massage it would help.

Q. What about afterwards? 
A. Drinking fluids is always good and don’t just head straight to your desk - try and walk around for at least 10 mins before plonking down in front of the computer again!

Q. What are the most common areas you treat?
A. Back and neck are the most common, but it can be seasonal - for example in the spring we see a lot of leg issues due to marathon training!

Q. How often should I get a massage? What about if I'm training for an event? 
A. This really is a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question - if I could have massage every DAY I would have it! We have a lot of patients that have weekly / fortnightly appointments to keep on top of issues. This enables them to improve over the long term rather than just firefighting the issue when it flairs up.

Q. Do you work with other types of therapists?
A. Absolutely - We're soft tissue specialists so deal with muscles, tendons and ligaments. We refer closely with a number of trusted professionals - physios, doctors, personal trainers, nutritionalists and also work with a very talented chiropractor.

Your question not answered here? Get in touch and we'll ask David.