Sports Massage Leigh on Sea – easing postural pain and fixing sports injuries

"Sports Massages" Despite what you might think, it’s not just athletes who find Sports Massages extremely beneficial.

A lot of people will ask ‘What’s the difference between a sports massage and a regular massage?

A ‘normal’ massage is for relaxation, aimed purely at soothing tired muscles. Sports massages target the deep tissue and stimulate circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Using trigger point therapy to break down knots in the muscles and increase range of motion, this unique technique will help anyone with chronic pain, injury or range-of-motion issues. Suitable for non-athletes as well as dedicated sporty types!

Sports massage can relax the muscles, reducing tension to make injury less likely. Furthermore it helps to fight fatigue, which allows for quicker recovery after strenuous exercise. It can also relieve any swelling around the joints, improving your flexibility and body strength. By boosting circulation, it can reduce the heart rate and blood pressure, as well as bolstering the immune system so that the body heals more quickly

Originally developed to prepare the bodies of athletes to function optimally during training and therebyboosting performance at the big event, it is also used to prevent and heal injuries to muscles and tendons. Did you know that sports massage is recommended as part of your training plan for the London Marathon?

Sports Massage relieves all sorts of pain!

I’m not an athlete, so sports massage is not for me!

Oh but it is! A sports massage uses deep tissue and remedial techniques that can really help many more ailments than merely sports injuries. A very common complaint from office workers spending long hours on the computer is tension around the shoulders and neck. Sports massage techniques can really help ease the pain away.

Of course, left untreated these aches and pains can develop into chronic conditions. Spending endless hours slumped in front of a PC, then more slouching on the couch add up to a lot of bad posture. This is teaching the body bad habits and producing strain and tension in muscles.

A good sports massage will release the tension and allow the shoulders to relax and the neck to loosen. This easing will then enable a good posture to be held. Ask your sports massage therapist for help with your post, we’re a friendly bunch always happy to help.

If you are suffering from muscle pain or tension anywhere in your body, then a sports massage will help you get back to normal.

For Leigh-on-Sea Sports Massage, Call The Ark on 01702 710531 to arrange an appointment to ease the pain away!

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Indian Head Massage Techniques

Indian Head Massage is a wonderful ancient massage technique that has evolved over many hundreds of years to encourage healthy hair growth and to relieve muscular and joint tension in the head and upper body.  In India it is normal to have a head massage every time you go to the hairdressers, as they believe that it helps encourage a healthy scalp and hair growth.

Treatments vary in length but are often half an hour long so can easily be incorporated into our hectic lives. It is normal to remain clothed and many therapists do not use oils so you won’t leave the treatment looking a state, although if this is a concern you should check beforehand.

The therapist will massage your head, neck, shoulders, arms, upper back and face in order to increase blood flow, ease muscle tension and strain.

Indian Head Massage Techniques

The therapist will usually start the treatment on the head and use a variety of Indian head massage techniques including long strokes (effleurage) this warms up your head, shoulders and tops of your arms and helps you feel comfortable with the therapist touching you. Then they might do some finger circles all over your head, gentle hair tugging which increases blood flow, finger combing through your hair, and static pressure which is where the therapist will push and release over your head which relaxes and stimulates the nerve endings in the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth.  Then they might do some tapping, squeezing and lifting of the scalp and finally some gently chopping (hacking).

Indian Head Massage Routine

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Massage Cushion, Beds and Table Covers

Massage Beds

As a masseur, you should spend as much money as possible on a good massage bed. One which has the ability to be raised up and down quietly and easily so as to alleviate any potential for stress on the therapist’s back but also so as to allow the client to climb on without difficulty. It also needs to be able to rise and lower without making a lot of racket which is not good for the end of a relaxing massage.

massage cushion

Massage Cushion

Most beds for massage tend to have some form of depression or hole for your face to fit into. There is nothing more uncomfortable than having a massage with your head tilted to one side – it just ends up giving you a pain where previously there was none.

I have also had treatments on beds that had a sort of plug-in cushioned circle. The problem with those is that the cushioned area applies pressure to the areas of the face that are most likely to lead to blocked sinuses and a bunged up feeling that is extremely uncomfortable and not conducive to relaxation.

You end up stressing parts of your neck, shoulders and upper back as you try to take the strain and relieve the pressure on your face.

So my masseur purchased a special blow up cushion which is almost a complete circle but with a break in it. He slips this under the material of the table cover and then adds a small towel.

This allows sufficient space for my face to be able to look down at the floor but without causing the pressure to my sinuses or the strain in my shoulders, neck and back.

Massage Table Covers

These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the best ones are made of washable towelling, providing comfort for the client and are easy to clean for the therapist.

Call us to find out how a massage could help you. Call 01702 710531

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Massage Techniques – Effleurage and Patrissage

I love the start of a massage, when the masseur is warming up the tissue and spreading the oil around. The hands go up and down and round on either side of your spine and I wanted to find out more about this very calming aspect of the massage.

I learned that these two massage techniques are called Effleurage and Patrissage.


These relaxing massage techniques are derived from the French verb ‘effleurer’ meaning “to touch lightly” and the first use of the word effleurage as a massage stroke category is attributed to Dr Johan Georg Mezger who lived in Amsterdam in the middle to late 1800s.

These massage techniques are a soothing, stroking movement used at the beginning and the end of a body massage, as well as being used as a linking move between the different strokes and movements.

Essentially, it is a form of massage involving a circular stroking movement performed using either the padded parts of the finger tips or the palm of the hands and can be firm or light without dragging the skin, which works as a mechanical pump on the body to encourage venous and lymphatic return.

I found a really interesting post on the more technical nature of the technique here.

There are various types massage techniques involved in effleurage:

alternate figure of eight – where the hands are at 180 degrees out of phase, one is going up as the other is coming back and which can be performed on any part of the body: back, lower back, calf, buttock, shoulder, neck;

alternate – where the hands are on either side of the spine up and down going towards each other;

and bilateral are the ones that I am aware of when I am on the table.


This is the sports massage technique that I am not so keen on – especially when it is applied to my calf muscles. Derived from the French verb ‘pétrir’, meaning “to knead”, these kneading, wringing, skin rolling and pick-up-and-squeeze massage movements are applied with pressure and compress the underlying muscles. Kneading, wringing, skin rolling and pick-up-and-squeeze are the slow, rhythmical petrissage movements. They are all performed with the padded part of the palm of the hand, the surface of the finger and also the thumbs.

At first there is longitudinal pressure and then small strokes are applied covering a few inches of flesh at a time working through the whole muscle. There is a pressure point in the middle of the calf muscle on the back of your leg which corresponds to some deep discomfort when attacked during a martial arts lesson. The same sensations can be achieved when your masseur knuckles or kneads that point.

Scissoring can be performed only over a flat area with very little pressure using the index and middle fingers of both hands placed opposite each other and then slowly worked towards each other lifting and releasing as they go.

Get your massage in Leigh on Sea at the Ark

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Massage Helps With Stress

According to The Huffington Post, a small new study originally published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has shown that regular message can result in decreased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, increases of oxytocin, the trust hormone, along with an improved white blood cell count.  The combination can help to ward off all those nasty bugs and viruses that many of us fall victim to – particularly at this time of year.

The 53 participants in the study were split into two groups and 29 had a 45 minute deep tissue Swedish massage once or twice a week for five weeks.  The other 24 only had a light touch massage.  The findings seemed to show that deep tissue massage can also decrease the levels of the hormone arginine vasopressin which is linked with rises in cortisol.

It was a follow up to an earlier study in 2010 which had not examined the difference that frequency of massage can make to the hormone levels.

Massage has also been shown to help maintain stable blood pressure and decrease anxiety and depression, as well as the usual alleviation of stiffness and pain.

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Massage for pain relief? Here is the proof it works!

Interesting article from the Consumers Union of the USA on the Washington Post this week about a couple of studies in the Medical Press this year which show the efficacy of massage for pain relief of a variety of ailments.

The Science Translational Medicine issue of 1 February mentions a small study which concluded that massage could reduce inflammation in muscles damaged by exercise. It would seem that massage for pain relief of sore muscles from sports or exercise is approved by experts!

Furthermore, the journal, PLOS One, reported another study which claims that an hour per week of Swedish massage reduced knee pain for those suffering with osteoarthritis. Another tick in the box for using massage for pain relief, yay!

A third study claims that an hour of massage each week can significantly improve the pain relief and function of those with chronic lower back pain. More expert opinion in favour of the power of massage!

Other research has found that anxiety, mild depression and stress can also be relieved. And stress relief too, clearly massage is useful for work issues, then!

All kinds of massage therapies

But what type of massage? There are so many different forms – Holistic, Aromatherapy, Deep Tissue, Sports, Relaxation, Thai to name but a few. A treatment can range from a light stroking to the trigger point type involving an elbow pushed into a knotted muscle or someone actually walking on your back. Whatever you choose you can be sure that using massage for pain relief of your ailment will get the job done!Massage for pain relief

Whatever you choose, you should ensure that your massage therapist has all the correct qualifications. Check on the internet and see if any of your friends have recommended someone and then ask them for more information.

You also might want to make a choice as to whether it is a male masseur or female masseuse who gives the massage. It should not make any difference but some people feel more comfortable with a person of the same sex, whilst others prefer the opposite gender.

Massage for pain relief of what exactly…

But, more importantly, you need to know that you are getting the right type of massage for the problem that you need treated. Call them up and have a chat first. Give them all the facts – areas of pain and sensitivity.

I did this myself – I went to Mike because I thought I needed an Indian Head Massage. Based on my symptoms, he said that I would receive more benefit from a head, neck and shoulder treatment – and he was right.

The stiffness that had been present for so many weeks just melted away under his insistent rubbing. Other more recalcitrant areas were treated to the ubiquitous elbow to persuade them that they could actually release the tension that had built up in response to the many stresses in my life. Ahhhh, massage and pain relief…

Visit us to find out how a massage can help your life.

For fast effective pain relief in Leigh-on-Sea, Call The Ark on 01702 710531 to BOOK an appointment to ease the pain away!

Image purchased from  uchar /

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Massage For Stress-Free Event Planning

A special birthday, anniversary or wedding – these are all events which can require so much organisation that, by the time the day dawns, you’re too exhausted to have a good time.

Many people find themselves suffering with aches and pains caused by the tension of their activities being retained in the muscles of their necks and shoulders. Stress headaches also become common.

Getting Your Head Together

Continue reading Massage For Stress-Free Event Planning

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