Attached is the article that I contributed to for Dancing Times back in March 2014.
The article is about the role of sports massage for dancers health but it is well worth a read for anyone who exercises regularly and has an interest in their health.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the article, you can read the full article thanks to Dancing Times through the pdf links.
“Sports massage is a speciality within remedial massage using the same range of clinical skills, focusing on recovery and the early identification and treatment of potential soft tissue problems. While remedial massage tends to take a gentler approach, sports massage works on releasing knots and helping to realign damaged muscle tissue. Whichever you opt to use depends largely on what you wish to achieve – whether you want to work on a specific injury or on maintenance to prevent problems in the future. Athletes, dancers and sportspeople are likely to suffer from injuries of overuse and muscle strain imbalance or to need help with improving their flexibility. Through using massage, regular assessment of an individual’s soft tissues enables a therapist to monitor how their client is responding to training, enabling them to focus on avoiding injury and enhance performance. The nature of a health problem may often determine the most suitable form of massage; sometimes a combination of sports and remedial massage can be effective.”
Graham Stones has worked with English National Ballet (ENB) as a sports remedial massage therapist for the last six years. “I came to working in sports massage after many years of training and competing in kung fu. This gave me an appreciation of using physical therapy to heal the body after gruelling training, competition or injury. At this time I began practising – and later teaching – yoga, which led to my undertaking a course in Thai massage, and becoming more involved with physiology, anatomy, massage and later sports massage. I continued to study yoga and other forms of bodywork to expand my skills, and in 2008 met Dominic Hickie, the main sports massage therapist for ENB. Since then I have worked with the company providing extra help and cover when needed, as well as running a number of clinics in central London, teaching yoga and holding yoga anatomy programmes for yoga teachers.”
“Massage therapy is about working with the body’s tissues to re-establish better symmetry, tone, balance and function, enabling the dancer to understand the nature of imbalance, and how they can help themselves through corrective movement and exercise. “A good sports masseur should be able to detect imbalances in the body’s tissues helping muscles and joints to function better, causing less strain and potential injury. This increases the range of motion, so more muscle is available to work, reducing load and effort on specific muscles.” Graham Stones