Sports Massage: A New Playlist

        We are just getting back to class after a week off for Christmas. Spending that time with family and friends was a nice recharge for a student's batteries.  Getting back on routine can be hard after taking a week off.  That is until you take a look at your class schedule and see you are starting the sports massage unit! If you haven't been following the blog, you may not know one of the experiences that sparked my interest in massage therapy, was working with my high school's athletic trainer from 8th grade through my senior year.  I learned so much about the body and how it works in prime function.  I also learned that I am one of those people who get strangely excited his gross and gory injury. 
      After specific training I was assisting with game prep and working the sidelines for our high school athletes by taping injured ankles or wrists for our basketball players, running ice baths for our runners shin splints, or stretching out fully padded football players.  Working with these athletes and being an athlete myself (once upon a time) I am impressed by and greatly respect all athletes bodies are put through.  I have been very excited about learning more about ways massage can help benefit this demographic not just in performance but injury prevention/healing.
       A lot of the modalities we have used thus far use slow, sometimes very slow, strokes engaging the parasympathetic nervous system.  This 'rest and digest' mode has MANY benefits that we have previously discussed and has it's time and place.  In sports massage we are waking up the muscles and helping prepare them for the intense physical activity to come!   This means we are moving quicker and at time much lighter than we would otherwise. 
      A fun perk to this new modality is the environment we are working in.  We have been working in dim lighting with soft soothing music.  Now we are listening to up beat music and moving to that rhythm.  In class we came up with a fun playlist for our sport massage sessions.  There may have been some singing along, which you should probably skip when working with clients ;-) but it was so fun!  It's kind of like dancing! As a therapist you feel pumped up!  It's exciting sharing that energy with your client. The only thing I have found I don't enjoy about sports massage, is trying to fall asleep after receiving a sports massage in class at nine o'clock at night.

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