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What is a Sports Massage?

In this blog, I am going to explain to you what a sports massage is, how it is different to other types of massage therapy, and why it really doesn't HAVE to hurt!

client receiving a sports massage on their lower back
Sports Massage Cardiff

"Is that the one that hurts?"

I am often asked by prospective clients who want to book in for a Sports Massage with me in Cardiff, if this type of massage is the "one that hurts."

Below I answer all the questions that you may have about Sports Massage, and I also show you how to book yourself in with me at the Cardiff clinic!

What is a Sports Massage?

Sports massage is a form of massage therapy that uses massage techniques from Swedish massage, as well as stretching and strengthening exercises and techniques, and adds a sprinkle of what is called tapping and percussion massage, with friction techniques. Confused yet? Don't worry you don't need to know any of this!

Where did it come from?

Sports massage in its modern form can be linked all the way back to the Paris Olympics, specifically, Paris in 1924. Paavo Nurmi “the flying Finn” from Finland brought his own personal massage therapist whilst competing in running events, and with treatment between events was able to win an impressive 5 gold medals in one day, including the 1.5k and 5k with only a short half-hour gap between events. He credited massage treatment as one of the most important factors of his training program contributing to his success.

Sports massage however was derived from Swedish massage, so it has a big link to modern-day Swedish massage as well.

Is it different to other massages?

Yes and no! You will find that many massage techniques are similar in some respects and have their own twist. Sports massage has a lot in common with Swedish massage, and the therapist will learn many of the Swedish massage techniques while learning. That being said there is a clear difference, and typically Swedish massage is much slower and doesn't go as deep into the tissue.

So does it hurt?

Yes... and no! Sports massage can be painful, certain techniques can be painful, but when done right, you should be in constant communication with your therapist and if you do not want pain, then your therapist will work with your own boundaries.

What do I need to wear?

Your therapist will work best with access to the area that they are to be working on, that being said, you are more than welcome to wear whatever makes you comfortable.

Some wear shorts, others underwear and some nothing at all, but a towel is always used to cover up any body parts that are not being worked on etc. If you have any concerns about what to wear just speak to your therapist.

Where can I get one and how do I book?

To make a booking for a Sports Massage with me in Cardiff just give me a call/text/WhatsApp message to 07800827339 or head over to any of the social media channels listed below to book, or of course, just book straight away using the website at

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