MASSAGE FOR WINTER SPORTS

MASSAGE FOR WINTER SPORTS – Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who participate in many outdoor winter sports do not properly prepare themselves ahead of time for the stress these activities can place on their bodies. Furthermore, most do not live close enough to an area where they can engage in these activities on a regular basis.

At best, they end up hitting it hard on the weekends or, more likely, packing as much activity as possible into sporadic stints of a week here or long weekend there. As a result, a combination of a lack of proper preparation and intermittent yet intense periods of activity can frequently lead to post-exercise soreness, strained and pulled muscles—or worse.

A sports massage therapist can do a few things to help this type of client. there are four different types of sports massage: general massage, pre-event massage, post-event recovery massage and injury massage. For most individuals involved in winter sports, massage can be consolidated into two categories: general pre-activity massage and post-activity recovery massage.

For both types of sports massage, it is useful to go through a series of range-of-motion tests before the session to look for areas that may be tight and restricting normal movement, and again after the massage to examine how the treatment has impacted these restrictions.

General Pre-Activity Massage
General pre-activity massage should focus on loosening up the muscles that are primarily engaged during that sport and preparing the body to perform the best it possibly can. The work should combine slow, controlled strokes with compressions and kneading. The pressure should be deep enough to be effective, yet not so deep that your client’s body fights you by resisting and tensing up. It is also beneficial to incorporate some assisted dynamic stretching, such as Active Isolated Stretching, into part of your session.

Post-Activity Recovery Massage
Post-activity recovery massage should be geared toward helping the body recover more quickly from an activity, while at the same time addressing any muscle strains or pulls. It should combine flushing strokes using moderate pressure with trigger-point therapy and movement techniques, such as pin-and-stretch or Active Release Technique. Static stretches of 30 to 45 seconds can also be incorporated after massaging a muscle or region. A cold whirlpool or ice bath for 10 minutes is a great way to top off the end of the session.

Regardless of which type of massage you are giving, it is important to understand the muscles that experience the most stress for each of the more popular winter sports. Outlined below are five recreational winter activities and the primary muscles that are engaged during those activities.

Downhill Skiing
The entire way down the mountain, downhill, or alpine, skier is essentially maintaining a quarter-squat position. The rectus femoris, vastus intermedius and gluteus maximus bear the brunt of the workload, as they are in a constant state of contraction. A large part of the massage should focus on these two regions.

Other muscles that are stressed in the lower body during downhill skiing include the peroneus longus, biceps femoris, adductor longus and gluteus medius. Although the upper body is usually not heavily involved, it may also be worthwhile to check certain muscles around the shoulders including the rhomboids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, pecs and deltoids as well as the erectors down the spine.

Snowboarding
Snowboarders stress their bodies a bit differently than downhill skiers do. The core plays a key role in moving a snowboarder down a slope. As a result, the low back has to do a significant amount of work.

You should start by working the quadratus lumborum, multifidi, external obliques and psoai. The gastocnemius, soleus and tibialis anterior of the lower legs should also be massaged, as they are fundamental to the heel-toe motion that occurs when snowboarding. The hamstrings and quadriceps muscles should also be checked.

Beginners who fall a number of times also stress their wrists and shoulders. Snowboarders who end up spending a lot of time on the ground usually require work on the forearm flexors and extensors as well as supraspinatus and subscapularis.

“MASSAGE FOR WINTER SPORTS”
About the Author
Mark Fadil is the co-founder of Sports Medicine Institute, a performance center which focuses on sports and orthopedic massage, in Palo Alto, California. He is also the founder of PHLX, a comprehensive foam roller system that empowers the user to recreate hands-on techniques utilized by skilled massage therapists. He wrote “Sports Massage for Runners” and “Massage for Golfers: Keep Your Clients on the Course” for MASSAGE Magazine.

Massage Therapy for Skiers

Whether you are a local with a season pass, or in town for a winter vacation, after the first few days hitting the slopes the inevitable soreness and achiness in the muscles and body begin to set in. Skiing, no matter your skill level, is an extreme sport. Hard falls, high speeds, and rough terrain all combine to make skiing and snowboarding a highly intense winter activity. Skiing engages your full body and all of its muscle groups, and while it’s a great workout, there’s a lot of opportunity for injury as well.

Much of the injury that may occur from skiing is due to wear and tear on the body. Most injuries will be bruises, as well as sore and pulled muscles. The joints are usually in the most danger of being injured more seriously. According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) knee injuries alone account for about 45% of all serious skiing injuries, with hips being the next for the highest chance of injury. Moguls, sharp inclines, and turns can wreak havoc on the joints of a skier over time.

The best way to avoid injury during the ski season is through preventative measures. Along with having properly fitted gear (and of course, always a helmet), it’s important your body and mind are prepared as well. Keeping up with a healthy, athletic lifestyle in the offseason will ensure your body is ready for ski season. Be sure to get some good stretching in before and after a day on the slopes. In addition to keeping your body in shape, keeping a relaxed and focused mind will also benefit your performance on the slopes. In the event of injury, acting quickly is key. Being sure to rest, ice injuries, keep injuries elevated, and seek professional medical help when needed will help protect against further damage and injury.

Massage Therapy for Skiers

In addition to leading an active healthy lifestyle, purchasing the best equipment, and taking care of an injury in a timely manner, all skiers beginner to professional should consider adding massage therapy to their arsenal of injury prevention and treatment methods. Massage therapy both before and after skiing will help ensure you shred the slopes, not your body.

Massage therapy plays a vital role in sports medicine. Massage therapy benefits the body by helping to increase blood flow, oxygenate the muscles, and improve lymphatic drainage, and aid in the removal of toxins from the body. Massage therapy can greatly assist full-body recovery as well as strengthening the muscles for future physical activity.

Using massage as a preventative measure before skiing can help reduce your risk of injury this ski season. Getting a massage before hitting the mountain will release tension in the body, relax and elongate the muscles and improve flexibility, taking stress off the joints. A relaxing massage will also help promote a clear, relaxed mind, keeping you focused and aware of your surroundings during your runs.

Scheduling an après ski massage will help aid your body’s recovery process and prevent future injury. Working out muscles kinks, improving circulation, and draining toxins will reduce inflammation, shorten muscle recovery time, and ease soreness. A post-ski massage will help you unwind after a long day skiing, and promote deeper relaxation and better sleep so you’ll be ready to go again the following day.

“Massage Therapy for Skiers”
Resouce Post: https://kneadinghandstherapy.com/benefits-of-massage-therapy-for-skiers/

Massage measurably reduces stress

A study finds that 10 minutes of massage or relaxation can activate the body’s system for overcoming stress.

Massage measurably reduces stress – The damaging effects of stress are well-known, but fortunately, our bodies have a built-in system for managing and recovering from it. This system is called the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS).

While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that taking time to relax — especially when it involves massage — can activate the PSNS, the new study by psychologists at the University of Konstanz in Germany has scientifically measured and confirmed this effect.

In their paper, the researchers conclude that short periods of relaxation may be psychologically and physiologically regenerative and that the effect is even more pronounced with a massage.

The senior author of the study is Prof. Jens Pruessner of the university’s Neuropsychology lab, who is a member of the Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour.” He explains the importance of the new research:

“To get a better handle on the negative effects of stress, we need to understand its opposite — relaxation. Relaxation therapies show great promise as a holistic way to treat stress, but the more systematic scientific appraisal of these methods is needed.”

The study appears in the September 2020 issue of Scientific Reports.

The study

For their study, the team divided the participants into three groups.

The first group received 10-minute head-and-neck massages with a moderate pressure intended to stimulate the PSNS’s vagus nerve. This nerve contains some 75% of the PSNS nerve fibers, branching out to the many organs in the body with which the system interacts.

The second group of individuals received much softer 10-minute neck-and-shoulder massages as a means of determining the PSNS-activating effect of simple tactile contact.

A third control group simply sat at a table relaxing for 10 minutes.

The researchers used both physiological and psychological measurements to evaluate the degree to which each intervention, or lack of, had activated the participants’ PSNS.

Neuropsychology doctoral student Maria Meier led the team, who assessed the tests’ physiological effect by measuring the participants’ heart rate, as well as their heart rate variability (HRV). HRV is a measurement of variations in the time intervals between heartbeats.

For example, when the body is in fight-or-flight mode, there is a very little variation because the heart beats quickly at a steady rate. This will provide a low HRV value. When the body is relaxed, a greater degree of variation occurs, resulting in a higher HRV.

All of the participants had significantly higher HRV levels afterward. However, the most dramatic increases in HRV belonged to those who had received massages. The type of massage did not matter.

Simple tactile contact proved just as effective for helping an individual relax as a massage designed specifically to activate the PSNS.

Psychologically, all participants reported feeling less stressed and more relaxed after the tests.

Overall, the experiments confirmed that simply taking a few moments to relax can help a person manage stress. Adding a relaxing massage does, even more, to activate the PSNS and alleviate the physical and mental effects of stress.

Stress management

Meier concludes: “We are very encouraged by the findings that short periods of disengagement are enough to relax not just the mind but also the body. You don’t need professional treatment in order to relax. Having somebody gently stroke your shoulders, or even just resting your head on the table for 10 minutes, is an effective way to boost your body’s physiological engine of relaxation.”

Equally important as the study’s finding is the development of a system for objectively evaluating relaxation therapies. With experts often citing stress as the driver of diseases such as depression, a reliable means of validating relaxation techniques clearly has value.

Says Meier, “Massage, being such a commonly used relaxation therapy, was our first study. Our next step is to test if other short interventions, like breathing exercises and meditation, show similar psychological and physiological relaxation results.”’

From: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/massage-measurably-reduces-stress

 

Which Massage Should You Choose?

Swedish massage is for relaxation, circulation, and detoxification.  Choose Swedish if you want the most relaxing massage without deep pressure or working on specific issues like sore muscles.

Deep Tissue, the therapist is penetrating into muscles in order to work-out soreness and remove lactic acid, which causes sore muscles.  Choose Deep Tissue if you have sore muscles from skiing or other activities.

Sports Massage incorporates stretching and movement into the massage in order to address specific issues you may be having.  Sports let our therapists use all their knowledge and training in order to alleviate pain, soreness, and stiffness, so you’re feeling better and ready for your next mountain activity.

Hot Stone is a relaxing massage where smooth river stones are heated, placed on the muscles, and incorporated into the massage.  The stones penetrate heat into the muscles, making for a soothing and relaxing massage.

Due to COVID-19 we have temporarily disabled our online booking in order to schedule services accordingly. Unable to take walk-in’s so please call for an appointment. Please call 970-453-2044 or email Info@alpinespaandsalon.com to schedule. Thank you for your understanding.

Swedish Massage
30 Minutes                                        $60
60 Minutes                                        $90
90 Minutes                                        $125

Hot Stone Massage
30 Minutes                                        $80
60 Minutes                                        $115
90 Minutes                                        $155

Sports Massage
30 Minutes                                        $70
60 Minutes                                        $105
90 Minutes                                        $145

Deep Tissue
30 Minutes                                        $70
60 Minutes                                        $105
90 Minutes                                        $145

Couples Massage
60 Minutes                                        $180
90 Minutes                                        $250

Pre-Natal Massage

60 Minutes                                        $105

Aroma Therapy
                               $10
CBD Relief Cream                          $20

We offer 3 different Aroma Therapy Blends:  Relaxation, High Altitude Relief, and Sore Muscle

Which Massage Should You Choose?