Types of Sports Massage

There are many types of services performed in a sports massage. Unlike a traditional Swedish massage where a client is under sheets in a quiet massage room; sports massage can be performed with basketball shorts and tank tops directly on top of a table, and potentially in an environment with multiple tables in a same room, or at a sporting events such as at a marathon, or on deck at a swim meet, or at a martial arts competition.
Many techniques and tools can be used from a practitioner certified in that specific modality. Most sessions use more than one technique to achieve optimal results for that individual. Her are a few examples of these and how they are used in a sports environment.
Kinesiotape is a great tool on its own or after a massage session. It can be used for:
  • Proprioception: noticing when the tape is pulling to stop that motion- such as slouching
  • Supporting or lightly stabilizing a joint while keeping range of motion
  • Aiding circulation such as a bruise or swollen ankle/knee
  • Assisting movements such as running or arm rotation
Athletic Cupping
  • Assists Range of Motion
  • Lifts muscle and tissue up vs compression
  • Brings circulation to specific areas of the body
  • Eliminated adhesion of tissue fibers against each other
Cupping does not produce bruising as many think, but rather brings up intercellular debris to the surface so the body's lymphatic system can clear it out. Cups may stay on one individual spot for up to 20 minutes, though CrossFunction Sports Massage promotes limited time in a singular area to work on range of motion and help break up "stuck" tissue.
Percussion Instruments
Percussive tools use a high vibrational frequency to reach joints and tissue deep below the surface, helping to mobilize dense areas such as the hips or hamstrings. They are a great precursor to deep tissue as it enables the loosening of tissue prior to a massage therapist working those targeted areas.
Gua Sha/Scraping
Skeletal Techniques
Scraping tools that help compress and scrape fascia along the tendons and help relieve pain such as tennis or golfers elbow, around the knee, or spread across the back creating superficial scraping to promote tissue mobility. This is a compression style and can be painful when working a targeted area, but provides exceptional results. Western technique is also known as Graston.
Similar to Rolfing, Zen Bodytherapy uses Ida Rolf's 10 session series to re-align the body in a specific sequence, along with Moshe Feldenkrais's breathing and movement techniques. This is not for the faint of heart as it deeply realigns the body from an unaligned state to a posturally correct one. Sessions are performed once a week for 10 weeks, without skipping until the sequence is complete.
Performed in shorts and a tank top on top of a table using muscle stripping, triggerpointing, and fascial stretching with movement.
Advanced Stretching


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