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Manager Feature: Remedial Therapy & Sports Massage By Iain Duncan

Manager Feature: Remedial Therapy & Sports Massage By Iain Duncan

How did it start?
The name ‘sports massage’ came about in a roundabout way. In the 1970’s Mel Cash (often referred to as the godfather of Soft Tissue Therapy) had been doing some recovery work with athletes by manipulating soft tissue pre and post exercise. Soft tissues being muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons.

He decided to write a book about soft tissue massage and when he approached a publisher they were sceptical about the subject. In the 1970’s Massage Parlours were a place not for rehab and recovery of soft tissues however were places of ill repute and the publisher indicated that any book printed with the title ‘Massage’ would be a top shelf publication. Mel obviously defended his works as he truly believed that he was doing some good and there was never any impropriety in his work. So, as he was treating sports people and athletes he decided to call it Sports Massage and the name was born. As it became more recognised he then developed the advancement of the treatment to cover Remedial Therapy helping therapists to work closely with Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Physios to treat injuries and help clients to hopefully become pain free. He then went on to establish the Institute of Soft Tissue & Remedial Therapists (ISRM) which regulates training courses and sets standard practises in the Industry, of which he still is the Chairman of today.

Injuries can occur at any time and are not limited to sports-related activities. Poor posture, accidents, surgical events, weaknesses in unexpected areas, wear and tear and ageing can all contribute to various types of injuries or discomfort in the body. These issues can affect anyone, regardless of whether they are involved in sports or not.

If you experience body aches, back soreness or painful/impaired shoulder, knees or hip discomfort a sports massage could potentially help alleviate some of these issues. As stated, Sports massages are not exclusively for athletes; it can benefit anyone who is experiencing muscle tension, pain, or a limited range of motion. It focuses on manipulating soft tissues, such as muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments to improve circulation, aid recovery, reduce muscle tension, enhance flexibility and promote relaxation. It can help alleviate pain, aid in injury recovery, prevent future injuries and improve overall physical well-being plus it also makes you feel good. Remedial Therapy helps to lengthen tight muscles using specialised techniques to alleviate postural, balance and overloaded areas.

We use the phrase regularly ‘Where the pain is, it doesn’t mean the problem is necessarily there but can be because the area is trying to do the job of another area which isn’t working properly and is being overloaded.However, it's important to note that while sports massages and remedial therapy can be beneficial for certain conditions, they may not be suitable for everyone or every situation.

The IRSM has a list of accredited NVQ Level 5 Redial Therapists and Level 3 Sports Massage Therapists on their website.

Iain Duncan Sept ‘23
Remedial Therapist and Sports Massage Therapist
Welcome Gym Chesham Club Manager

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