Have you noticed that the summer months bring an increase in clients with sports or activity-related injuries, particularly where those clients don’t do a huge amount of exercise the rest of the year.
Two friends complained recently of aches and pains – one had a tight Achilles tendon, the other a wonky knee. In both cases they were old injuries and the sudden burst of physical activity on holidays had brought them on again.
Good weather (and we've certainly enjoyed that recently) combined with time off work leads to people increasing their physical activity levels. While this is definitely a good thing it brings with it the risk of strains, sprains, tears or breaks. Even a bout of intensive gardening can be a dangerous thing!
My clients know that I specialise in energetic massage, so they don’t expect a sports massage from me, but there are some things I can do to make them feel more comfortable while they’re with me.
Apply heat – or cold?
While it is contraindicated to apply heat to fresh injuries, if a client has general muscle aches, pains or strains, the kind we get after a long hike or cycle (or a day spent gardening) my heated pad gets working on those tense muscles before I even touch them. If you are a hot stone massage therapist, your treatment will also offer great relief to over stretched/sore muscles. Of course, one injury that needs the opposite treatment is a sprain. The most effective treatment is a cold compress and a firm, but not too tight strapping with a crepe bandage. A sprain should never be massaged in case the ligament which supports the joint has been damaged.
Use essential oils (if trained in Aromatherapy!)
I’m sure I don’t need to convince you of the amazing properties of essential oils. Add them to your base massage oil or to a diffuser in your treatment room. You may have your favourites that are particularly helpful to your clients presenting with ‘summer strains’ but I find a few drops of Chamomile, Lavender or Marjoram added to my base Ultra Massage Oil will reduce sore, overworked muscles due to over-exertion.
Know when to say ‘Stop’
There are certain injuries that really need attention or they will get worse. Continuing to jog, hike, cycle or whatever fair-weather activity your client has suddenly taken up, while ignoring the pain, is not a good idea.
In the case of my friends, one had Achilles tendonitis and the knee complaint sounds like runner’s knee. I advised both to stop any strenuous exercise that caused pain, as these conditions will just get worse and become chronic unless properly treated. I referred them to a sports injury therapist.
Massage can, of course, speed up healing and for good old tired and overworked bodies, massage therapists can definitely help their clients as we well know.
Of course, I use Pure Pro’s Deep Tissue Cream which is perfect for clients with tight, sore muscles. It gives you a truly gripping glide allowing you to work deeper with complete control – perfect for getting at tension knots, whatever has caused them. It was specifically developed to:
Improve results without causing pain or injury to therapists’ hands.
Help break down knots in tight muscles and target trigger point areas.
Allow therapists to work deeper without using excess pressure.
Make working with clients with excess body hair easier for both client and therapist.
If you are a Sports, Neuromuscular or Physical Therapist this is the product for you.
Deep Tissue Cream is a blend of coconut, safflower, apricot kernel, and organic golden jojoba oils with added organic aloe vera gel, silver citrate and natural Vitamin E. The result is a deeply nourishing and nurturing skin cream that works without the need for you to exert excess pressure on tense, sore or overworked muscles. Great for your client and good for your hands too!
Mary - always here to help you help your client.