Not all the time – in fact some of it can be very pleasant indeed, especially at the beginning when your therapist is gently kneading the muscles in your body and at the end when they are relaxing and stretching them out after the deep tissue part of the treatment.
However, it’s the bit in between that can be excruciatingly painful. But, as the old adage says – no pain, no gain.
I spend a lot of time hunched over a computer and I don’t do stress very well. These two problems mean that I carry a lot of tension in the muscles where my neck joins my shoulders.
Sometimes they feel rock hard and start to restrict the sideways movement of my head. That’s when I know a visit to Mike for a sports massage is due. But thankfully work related stress can’t defeat my sports massages, which are proven to relieve stress!
Trigger Point Therapy in Sports Massages
Mikes’ sports massages involve a clever trigger point therapy technique to try to trick my brain into releasing the tension it is holding in the muscles. This involves rolling my flesh to isolate the problem area and then sticking his elbow into the recalcitrant muscle. I am informed that some massage therapists use their thumbs, knees and, even feet for the purpose.
The result is that every nerve centre in your brain explodes in complaint and it feels as if a red hot poker is being pushed into the muscle as my eyeballs, simultaneously, try to pop out of my body – even when he’s working on the stress in my glutes!
Trigger points are caused by a build up of lactic acid and other toxins from a contraction in some of a muscle’s fibres which are then unable to disperse through the constricted capillaries.
Each point and the surrounding tissue needs to be identified and resolved through specific massage techniques with very precise levels of intensity and duration to ensure the knot is properly eased without damaging the tissues.
It’s not just a case of applying the elbow with impunity, there are a number of other required elements to the treatment, particularly when it comes to loosening everything off again afterwards.
I love my sports massages with Mike. More than anything, they are an extraordinarily effective treatment that makes the difference between me being able to continue with my computer-based career… and having to give up.
Now I just need to work on the ergonomic set-up of my office arrangements.
So, there you have it – sports massages, the pain and the pleasure.