Sports massage is an effective treatment for sports injuries and general wear and tear. There are several types of massages used to treat athletes including deep tissue therapy, myofascial release, Thai massage, hot and cold therapy, stretching, Ashiatsu, and PTSM.
PTSM stands for Phila Tandem Sports Massage. It is an intensive massage session that includes 90 minutes of massage combined with 90 minutes of stretching. Several types of massage techniques make up PTSM including Swedish massage, combined deep tissue, hot and cold therapy, and Active Isolated Stretching. The benefits of PTSM include faster muscle recovery, reduction of muscle spasms and knots, improved blood flow, reduced muscle tension, and pain relief.
Ashiatsu is another unknown massage technique. It is a barefoot bar massage technique that utilizes centrifugal and centripetal strokes. The result is structural changes in the damaged soft tissue and deep relaxation. The therapist stands on top of the client and maintain their balance by holding onto bars hung over the table. Massage oil is used on the body.
When trainers decide what type of massage therapy to use on athlete, they usually consider the timing of the workouts. For example, during workouts, the massage therapist’s goal is to remove knots and loosen the tissue. During the recovery period, however, the goal is healing, and the massage therapist will use lighter techniques to achieve this.
For in-between periods when the athlete isn’t training, there are alternative treatments. The massage therapist will keep the body loose and flexible with stretching and healing techniques. If the athlete is injured, there are a different set of massages used by the therapist. For example, a sprain will require short, focused, but frequent massaging. Bi-weekly treatments is recommended. As the sprain heals, the treatments become more intense but less frequent. Deep massages and stretching techniques are employed as the sprain heals.
If your sports injury isn’t responding to conventional massage treatments, and you want to try an alternative treatment, consider Ayurveda. This is a system of medicine that originated in India.
Here’s an example of what an Ayurveda treatment plan includes:
- Weekly massages with essential oils or powders
- Calming oil-flows
- Luxurious oil baths and saunas
- Herbal preparations and medicines to take home
The defining characteristic of Ayurveda massages is long strokes. During treatment sessions, the entire body is uncovered. If you’re not comfortable with this, simply request to be covered during the session. Practitioners are assigned to clients based on sex. Male clients get male practitioners and female clients get female practitioners.
Ayurveda treatments take into account lifestyle and environmental factors. These may alter the course of treatment if your practitioner feels it will affect your well-being. So it’s important to let your practitioner know about these changes.
For more information about Ayurveda and sports massage, contact Kerala Ayurveda Centre.