Louise Barlow is our clinic’s Sports Masseuse, she trained with Sports Therapy UK and recently obtained her VTCT Level 3 certificate in Sport Massage Therapy qualification. She has continued her studies and is part way through her VTCT Level 4 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy.
When Louise isn’t working she is often found at the gym! Louise loves the satisfaction of having a tough but effective workout but through experience also appreciates the importance of stretching and self-care before, during and after a workout. Louise also loves obstacle course races – the muddier the better – and is participating in her first triathlon in July! Louise has a dance background so understands how frustrating it can be when niggles or full injuries can stop you training for what you enjoy. Louise also volunteers at London Irish Rugby Club as a Sports Massage Therapist and this experience in professional sport has led to enhancing her knowledge on a range of sporting injuries.
Louise has also worked in the office environment for a number of years so has first-hand experience of the impact an incorrect posture or an
unsupportive chairs can have on us, along with our everyday lives. Louise is a VCTC accredited Sports Massage Therapist who is a member of the Sports Massage Association (SMA), and will be starting her MSc in Sports Therapy this autumn.
What is Sports Massage Therapy?
Sports Massage Therapy (also known as Deep Tissue Massage) is a ‘hands-on’ treatment using specific soft tissue techniques and stretches of the body for the purpose of normalising those tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) and consists of techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement to the body. The purpose of sports massage is to break down scar tissue, increase blood supply and lymphatic flow, to aid the body’s natural healing mechanism
Who would benefit from a sports massage?
Everyone! Our daily lives can have an impact on our muscles, whether that’s having a long commute, working in an office, having a physically demanding job or participating in sporting and leisure activities. One of the primary benefits of sports massage is to relive any muscle tension and to avoid that niggling pain turning into a condition that places a restriction on your everyday life.
Why is Sports Massage good for sport?
A key benefit of massage is to improve the range of movement in our muscles and to keep the muscles working to their full range. This will enable you to continue to participate in your chosen activity with your muscles working at their optimum range. Sports massage works deeply into the muscles tissues and can help to prevent injury, along with improving joint ranges, aiding recovery from strenuous exercise, and reducing any discomfort from aches and pains.
What conditions do we treat?
– Tennis or Golfer’s elbow.
– Hamstring or Groin strains.
– Ankle sprains and stabilisation.
– Achilles tendinitis and plantafascitis.
– Knee injuries.
– Back and Sacro-iliac pain.
– Repetitive Strain Injuries e.g. wrist pain from rackets sports, shin splints.
– Growing pains in young athletes.
What can you expect from a Sports Massage?
Our sports massage commence with an initial assessment that includes history, activities and a physical examination, before clarifying if there are specific areas you wish to be treated or if you wish to have an all over maintenance massage. We use a variety of massage techniques to warm and prepare your tissues before applying more advanced techniques to work into your complaint. There is a perception that Sports Massage should be ‘painful’ and ‘no pain, no gain’ – this isn’t always correct and whilst we work deeply into your muscles it will always be within your pain threshold and we may use techniques that feel gentle but have a significant benefit to your complaint. Your session will be completed by advice on posture, exercise and targeted stretches.