MORE ABOUT SPORTS MASSAGE
For those who have found themselves with a recurring issue or have unfortunately had an injury, It will be helpful and informative for you once careful interviewing and assessment have been completed to see how there is nearly always a chain of seemingly unlinked events that lead up to an injury.
Example: Repeated micro traumas(muscle soreness, minor sprain and strains to ligaments) will lead often unnoticed to a gradual loss of range of motion in an affected joint-due to surrounding muscle stiffness-this in turn effecting a loss of proprioception in the joint-which will have an overall impact on co-ordination-potentially eventually resulting in an accident of some kind.
This is an example of where the relaxed environment of regular massage can help you identify and correct imbalances; For an experienced massage therapist all is apparent as we work our way around your body assessing as we go. I can feel (often just from a light touch) how responsive your muscles are and also for example determine differences in strength in legs, hip flexors or spinal musculature. Then I can feedback this information to you verbally if you are unable to perceive it yet. Also the reactions of other muscles during the massage are easier for your mind to become aware of because the relaxed environment of the massage minimises habitual patterns and responses to stimuli. This can help to improve your body awareness and coordination as the new awareness of the sensory imput can introduce new options for muscle recruitment. This will all help you adjust and moderate your activity to get the results you are hoping for or to maintain and continue to enjoy what you do.
Here is a bit of ‘biomechanics’ for you:
Proprioception: Close your eye and hold up your middle finger, bend it straighten it, how do you know that you have the correct finger and movement? That is an example of proprioception. Then imagine if a muscle was ‘tight’ (not responsive and feeling stiff) and it felt like it was straight but in fact it isn't, and how that might subtly affect your co ordination.
Strength? /Co ordination? Consider as you do your bicep curls how much more weight you might be able to lift if your triceps were able to release more fully and your biceps were flexible and thus more responsive. Opposing muscles have to balance each other otherwise you have no control over your actions.
Stiff? Can't touch your toes and blaming in all on your 'tight hamstrings'? Perhaps your body is just doing its best to keep you from falling over by putting the brake on your hamstrings and back. You are not comprised of isolated bits... Your muscles sit within an interconnected internal environment. Try massaging just one sole of one of your feet and then bend over again and see how much looser your whole body is on that side...
'Sports' massage can help free up the connective tissue, it can highlight irregularities in muscle ‘resting length’ (shoulders anyone?) and work to improve neuromuscular responses. Sports massage can also keep old scar tissue a bit more supple and therefore improve overal functionality, it can also increase muscular flexibility with special assisted stretching in a way that does not involve attempting pretzel like positions and danger of joint and ligament damage by too adventurous unsupervised efforts; it can improve strength for weight lifters and agility for other activities, improve your breathing and generally keep you enjoying your chosen activity.
With the above as a minimum under consideration during your massages, I am always looking to help you improve overall body condition, fitness and co-ordination. I just need to do that in a different way for different people. For that reason I do not offer to massage 'bits of you' The massage may have a focus but I will still incorporate other parts of you! ..Yes your legs might be tight but why are they tight?? What about your shoulders and chest and diaphram (you know; the breathing muscle and aparatus that actually draws in and circulates the oxygen to those legs..!) or could there be an improvement to be made in hip flexibility? . All aspects for consideration that have been subdued in your awareness by your nervous system. Perhaps you do have excellent form but it would be good to check in and see how much better yet you can do!
To summarise: Tension, ‘tightness’ inefficient neural activity, faulty technique or muscular imbalance will all sap your strength and inhibit your enjoyment and development. Try a few massages, see how it goes. Don't expect a miracle in your first 60 minutes though! It takes time to develop muscle memory and time to repair and time to develop strength and coordination.
MORE ABOUT MASSAGE FOR YOGA
Your life's history has been 'vacum packed' away in your body and can when ready expand bringing back old memories and feelings ready for release as your yoga practice steadily primes your body and mind to open up and rebalance.
These experiences can also happen unexpectedly during a massage for someone who has never done a day of yoga in their life or any other reflective activity. For those who have not done any personal growth work, this is a bit of a shock when emotions and tears for example or long buried memories come to the surface. It is the kind of session where your body really leads the way and my role is to 'listen' ultra sensitively with my hands, and allow space and grounding and support as the subtle releases unfold.
Please note it is not possible to predict or 'book' this kind of session. I have only included this as a category to give an indication of the depth and potential of bodywork. It is not my intention to dig these experience out of your body, I am there to facilitate only.
(Anyone reading this out of curiosity who doesnt know what I am talking about is probably reviewing their decision to get a sports or pregnancy massage with me at this point!) However to them I will say that years experience have repeatedly proven to me that every single thought and emotion that you have ever had is all there in the brain and tissue of your body. A simple explanation is that: It took a chemical process for you to experience it in the first place and it will take a chemical process for you to mentally re experience it. Your brain has 'logged it' on some level in your subconsious mind and if a massage triggers a tissue memory you may experience a release of some kind in the course of a bodywork session. If this happens, it is an opportunity to let go of it or erase it a little physically and therefore mentally.
My personal experience over the years is that as internal awareness becomes ever more subtle, we understand that we never completely erase anything, only increase our capacity to see it in ever more detail, defuse the mental and emotional charge related to it, lessen the unconsious influence over us and make more space for it within ourselves.
So I can't promise all those eager yogi's and meditators and spiritual seekers out there enlightenment or magical healing, neither do I provide any form of counselling. I am just a supportive witness presence for what unfolds at the time of the massage. As mentioned earlier, This kind of massage work provided the inspiration for the name The Quiet Space.