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HOW DO YOU FIND A GOOD SPORTS MASSAGE PRACTITIONER?

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Finding a good Sports Massage Practitioner Finding a good Sports Massage Practitioner (SMP) can be like finding a good doctor or a good sports coach. What works for one person may not work for another so don’t be afraid to walk away if you feel the relationship is not working. What should I ask my Sports Massage Practitioner?
Sports Massage is not a regulated profession so the level of training undertaken varies from a one weekend course, to a two week course to a two year course. Ask your SMP where they trained, how long the course was and what sports they specialise in. It’s a good sign if your SMP has involvement with sports clubs so ask them about that as well.
Sports Massage will be regulated at some stage in the future and courses in fitness massage and orthopaedic massage have sprung up to bystep the regulation. Look for practitioners that have straightforward qualifications in sports massage, sports injuries and/or sports therapy.
Ok. So you’ve asked all the questions and have booked in to see a SMP. What will happen at the appointment?

What should my Sports Massage Practitioner ask me?
1. Questions!
Questions questions questions! Now it’s their turn to ask you a whole lot of questions. As well as taking a full medical history, the SMP will ask you all about the sport(s) you play, your training regime, current injuries and previous injuries. What may seem like a lot of pointless conversations actually has a purpose.
Firstly they are fitting all the pieces of the jigsaw together. For example, they know that if you present with headaches, it is quite likely that you have jammed cranial bones caused by untreated foot alignment problems. So although the questions might seem pointless, do answer them as fully as you can.
Secondly they are tuning in to you so that they can understand your sport and understand what motivates you. This will have an impact on the rehab programme they will prescribe for you. They will tailor your appt and rehab to what fits you best rather than a “one size fits all” set programme. They are also working out whether they need to refer you on for further investigations such as x-rays, orthotics, spinal manipulation, nutritional testing, etc. etc.
2. Homework
Now that they understand you and what makes you tick, they will give you homework such as exercises, stretches and goal setting techniques based on your needs and in a way that you accept. The SMP will give you realistic expectations about how many times they need to see you, what you can achieve together by combining your homework and their treatments, and when you can return to your sport.
3. Prevention
Attending your SMP regularly is a good idea to keep everything ticking over. Think of your body as a computer system. To keep your computer working at full capacity you regularly screen for viruses and tidy up defragmented files. Your body is just the same and you need to screen for muscle damage. Your SMP will work with you throughout the year to do this and reduce the likelihood of early muscle damage turning into full-blown injuries that will prevent you enjoying your sport. They can spot the signs of early muscle damage and adapt your training regime accordingly.

So there you have it. You will ask lots of questions to decide on your SMP and they will ask you lots of questions to devise your treatment plan. Trust is a two-way thing that takes time to develop but once you find a SMP that you trust, they are worth their weight in gold.

Helen Doherty aka “The Girl with the Magic Thumbs”
Sports Massage Practitioner at Alive Chiropractic and Wellness Services, Ballynahinch Road, Belfast 8

email. [email protected]

https://www.upandrunners.com
What should I ask my Sports Massage Practitioner?
Sports Massage is not a regulated profession so the level of training undertaken varies from a one weekend course, to a two week course to a two year course. Ask your SMP where they trained, how long the course was and what sports they specialise in. It’s a good sign if your SMP has involvement with sports clubs so ask them about that as well.
Sports Massage will be regulated at some stage in the future and courses in fitness massage and orthopaedic massage have sprung up to bystep the regulation. Look for practitioners that have straightforward qualifications in sports massage, sports injuries and/or sports therapy.
Ok. So you’ve asked all the questions and have booked in to see a SMP. What will happen at the appointment?

What should my Sports Massage Practitioner ask me?
1. Questions!
Questions questions questions! Now it’s their turn to ask you a whole lot of questions. As well as taking a full medical history, the SMP will ask you all about the sport(s) you play, your training regime, current injuries and previous injuries. What may seem like a lot of pointless conversations actually has a purpose.
Firstly they are fitting all the pieces of the jigsaw together. For example, they know that if you present with headaches, it is quite likely that you have jammed cranial bones caused by untreated foot alignment problems. So although the questions might seem pointless, do answer them as fully as you can.
Secondly they are tuning in to you so that they can understand your sport and understand what motivates you. This will have an impact on the rehab programme they will prescribe for you. They will tailor your appt and rehab to what fits you best rather than a “one size fits all” set programme. They are also working out whether they need to refer you on for further investigations such as x-rays, orthotics, spinal manipulation, nutritional testing, etc. etc.
2. Homework
Now that they understand you and what makes you tick, they will give you homework such as exercises, stretches and goal setting techniques based on your needs and in a way that you accept. The SMP will give you realistic expectations about how many times they need to see you, what you can achieve together by combining your homework and their treatments, and when you can return to your sport.
3. Prevention
Attending your SMP regularly is a good idea to keep everything ticking over. Think of your body as a computer system. To keep your computer working at full capacity you regularly screen for viruses and tidy up defragmented files. Your body is just the same and you need to screen for muscle damage. Your SMP will work with you throughout the year to do this and reduce the likelihood of early muscle damage turning into full-blown injuries that will prevent you enjoying your sport. They can spot the signs of early muscle damage and adapt your training regime accordingly.

So there you have it. You will ask lots of questions to decide on your SMP and they will ask you lots of questions to devise your treatment plan. Trust is a two-way thing that takes time to develop but once you find a SMP that you trust, they are worth their weight in gold.

Helen Doherty aka “The Girl with the Magic Thumbs”
Sports Massage Practitioner at Alive Chiropractic and Wellness Services, Ballynahinch Road, Belfast 8

email. [email protected]

https://www.upandrunners.com