Danielle white sports massage north finchleyOver the last few weeks in North Finchley I have been questioned about my strength as a female sports massage therapist and whether I would be able to perform a ‘deep’ sports massage due to being quite small (5ft 4″ and 53kg) which inspired me to write this short blog.

When I greet a client for the first time I often see the questioning look on their faces, perhaps assuming that their treatment will not be strong enough for their needs.

It is often thought that sports massage therapists need to have excessive arm strength to be a good therapist often leading to many questions and assumptions about the strength of a female therapist.

In reality, whether you see a male or female massage therapist the good ones never use pure upper body strength for three main reasons:

  1. Upper limb muscles have less strength and power than lower limb muscles.
  2. Our bodies are all connected and you can’t really isolate arms when performing sports massage techniques.
  3. If a therapist did just use their arms you wouldn’t have a great experience as a client as the pressure would decrease at the end of each massage stroke leaving areas of the muscle untouched.

What a good therapist will do (both male and female)

  1. Use power from the lower body. Driving each massage stroke from the legs; using the whole body is not only more energy efficient for the therapist but also provides an equal amount of pressure throughout each massage stroke.
  2. Doesn’t just use their hands. Using a variety of techniques such as the forearm, elbow and soft fist can provide a deeper and more localised pressure where needed.
  3. Only applies ‘deep’ pressure when it’s required. Even though people ask for a ‘deep’ massage it may not always be what their body needs. Many of us have been in treatments where you are scrambling to get off the couch as the pressure is too much and the therapist hasn’t listened to your body. This ‘deep’ pressure isn’t ideal for you or your muscles!

Whether you visit a male or a female therapist they will generally follow these points enabling them to give that ‘deep’ pressure you may be looking for. As much as female therapists are often shorter and with less muscle mass, don’t under estimate the strength we can have.

Many of my clients will certainly agree!