Sports Massage Therapy

Injuries, Maintenance & Rehabilitation



What you Can Expect


1.      Free Initial Phone Consultation

I welcome you to call me for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation, where we can briefly discuss your unique massage needs and decide how sports massage therapy may help you. I can answer any other questions that you have pertaining to massage treatment, fees and insurance coverage etc. Then based on our exchange, we can decide a course of action & book an initial massage therapy session.


2.      Initial  Massage Session

Welcome!  We work together as a team. Together we will design a sports massage program specifically with your muscular goals to help you achieve long term results.  You  will first fill out a confidential health history form  which will give me the necessary information about your past & current condition.

Our initial interview will involve a dialogue where I can zero in on your specific problems & you can query me on whatever concerns or problems you would like to share.  From that point, we will move into the massage treatment portion of our session.


3.      Subsequent Sports Massage Therapy Sessions

The frequency of massage treatments will depend on the treatment plan we design to meet your needs.   Depending on how your body is responding to treatment & what your circumstances are, I may initially recommend one or two sessions a week or as irregular as once a month.

Your fitness routine consistently places demands on your muscles, so our massage sessions will focus not only on problem areas but also the rest of the body to support your commitment to health & wellness.
For the best relief from pain & muscle tension, clients get the best results from weekly massage appointments.   As your symptoms diminish, we will know when we can reduce the frequency of your sessions.  Regardless of our decision, preventative massage will be required if you want to  maintain your commitment to optimal health and wellness and be the best athlete you can be.


My Massage Treatment Approach


I bring over 25 years of therapeutic & sports massage experience at the provincial, national & international level to you.   I have developed & implemented sports massage injury, prevention & maintenance programs for sports teams & individual athletes.  No matter what your sport I can identify particular muscle groups used & work specific tissues, keeping you game ready & injury free!
I believe in a team-work approach to creating a massage program
You may play the same sport as your friend, however, everyone is unique. We need to design a massage program that is flexible & adaptable based on your sports, activities & your life.  From me, you can expect & count on that each treatment is customized to address your individual concerns & needs.  And in return, I expect you to take a proactive role by fully participating with me through questioning, your feedback during & after treatments, or any information you care to share that will help me help you!

As an avid sports fan & a fitness enthusiast, sports massage is vital to maintaining muscle health

Through my passions for competitive curling, weight training & cycling I know first- hand the physical demands & challenges of a regular sports or fitness routine.  Through my own injuries, I can relate to the frustrations of being limited in your training due to injury or pain.  With this insight, I can share with you my road to recovery & how sports massage was a vital component to my quick return to an active lifestyle.


Massage Therapy Treatment Techniques


My treatment style incorporates a number of techniques usually used in combination during my massage sessions.  For example:

See below for a description of each of these massage therapy techniques.


Sports Massage

Sports Massage is a form of massage that utilizes special techniques applied within specific timing parameters to enhance an athlete`s preparation for optimal performance during training and competition. Certain massage techniques are performed pre-game, or pre-competition to augment an athletes warm up, while others are performed following an event to aid in the athletes physical and psychological recovery. In clinical practice, athletes are often seen for massage therapy sessions during their training, conditioning and maintenance phases. Special attention is also given to the rehabilitation and prevention of any injuries.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage is an advanced form of massage that can really benefit athletes who are chronic pain sufferers. Deep Tissue Massage is used to release chronic muscular tension using slow strokes, direct compression, trigger point techniques or friction on a focused problem area. Often the movements are directed across the grain of the muscles (cross-fibre) using the fingers, thumbs, or elbows. This is applied with greater pressure and at deeper layers of the muscle than Swedish massage.  The firm pressure eases the pain and alleviates tension, loosening tightness and buildups of painful lactic acid that accumulates with repeated stress of muscles. Deep tissue massage is an important aspect of sports massage.

Swedish Massage Therapy

The Swedish massage at the very basic level aims to increase the flow of oxygen in the blood and also helps release harmful toxins from the muscles. Through the application of gentle but firm pressure applied through palms, hands, fingers, etc. the massage eases muscle aches, enhances circulation and improves relaxation. Its found to be the most effective method for quick recovery from any kind of muscular strain. It can be extremely helpful for athletes or people who are very physically active.

Swedish massage plays an important role in not just stimulating skin and tendons but soothes your whole nervous system. For fitness enthusiasts & sports athletes, Swedish massage techniques are really beneficial as they flushes the muscles of all the toxins including lactic acid and uric acid which can make your muscles stiff and sore after your workout. Additionally, Swedish massage is great for relaxing the body as well as the mind. It improves circulation and reduces stress and accompanying pain.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a type of soft tissue massage which incorporates stretching and massage of the connective tissues, or fascia. Myofascial release usually begins with a gentle massage which is designed to warm and loosen muscles. As the work progresses the therapist identifies areas of tension which require further attention, and will return to those areas to stretch and work the fascia. Sometimes myofascial release can be quite intense, especially in the case of muscles which are holding a great deal of tension and stress. After the massage session, some clients experience slight stiffness and soreness, which will usually vanish over the next few days, leaving behind a sense of well-being. Regular myofascial release can improve posture, ease areas of muscle soreness, and improve flexibility. It is a highly useful technique that I often use with athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) & Trigger Point Therapy

Neuromuscular massage therapy, also called myofascial trigger point therapy, is a touch therapy that focuses on sensitive points in your muscles called trigger points.  Sensitive areas  of tight muscle fibers can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse, which can cause muscle and joint stiffness and deep, aching muscle pain.    Once these points are identified, then a steady, appropriate pressure is applied to the point to `releasing`it, followed by massage to the surrounding area to treat the cause of the trigger point.  The physical benefits of neuromuscular massage therapy include restoring muscle strength, increasing flexibility and relieving pain.

During our sports massage therapy sessions, I will utilize any of the above techniques that will bring you the most benefit. With all these techniques at my disposal, you can be sure you are getting the best massage treatment possible.

Find out more about my massage therapy services.

Dynamic Cupping & Massage

Did you happen to see Michael Phelps athleticism at the 2016 Olympic Games? His performance was incredible wasn’t it? Besides his amazing accomplishment of collecting his 28th Gold Medal did you see the multiple dark round circles? What you saw were markings from a treatment called cupping.

Cupping or myofascial decompression, is one of the oldest and most extensively practiced alternative therapeutic methods of traditional Chinese medicine. It is used for a variety of conditions where improved blood flow and an accelerated healing process would be beneficial.

Dynamic Cupping & Massage protocol is a simple treatment that yields impressive results. The cup helps release the rigid soft tissue through suction where the skin is gently drawn upwards creating a vacuum within the cup over a targeted area of skin. It also provides an ideal environment for releasing fluids and metabolic wastes that your body may be retaining as well as loosen adhesions, connective tissue and those stubborn knots in soft tissue. Larger cups create a stronger suction or vacuum effect which mimics a deep tissue massage without the discomfort.

The most common area for dynamic cupping is the back and neck. Cups are placed in specific patterns and can remain stationary or there can be movement can be gliding or circular stimulating patterns can be made over rigid muscle groups and knots or trigger points.

The treatment will likely make your skin turn red, blue or purple which shows that circulation is happening. Contrary to what you may have heard, the marks you experience post treatment are NOT bruises that usually involves an injury to the blood vessels, these marks usually mean an area is congested. The skin discoloration can last anywhere from a few days to a week depending on how much stagnation there is in the tissue.

A cupping session generally lasts 5-10 minutes in combination with massage and generates a warm tingling feeling in the body & affects the nervous system allowing increased relaxation during the treatment. Many people can feel the results immediately after treatment. Cupping should not be painful or uncomfortable and at any time, so dialogue during the session is important.


Benefits of Cupping

Acupuncture & cupping treatments have been part of my health care routine for many years and can attest to the following benefits listed.

Cupping decreases pain. 
Cupping is great for managing both chronic and acute pain. Old and new injuries, chronic movement patterns, inactivity and surgical procedures cause build up of cellular waste, stagnated lymph, blood and excess fluid, resulting in inflammation within soft tissues. These elements impede proper circulation in the area, leading to stiffness, pain and even chronic health conditions. The vacuum effect of cupping draws the stagnant residue to the surface, where it is cleared away by the lymphatic system. Once the congestion is freed up and healthy circulation is restored, this allows the tissues to properly heal and for the pain to go away.

Cupping increases range of motion. 
Not only does cupping restore healthy muscle tissue due to increased circulation as explained above, but it also facilitates in the release of fascial compartments. This reduces the restrictions and allows for a better glide in the tissues, which leads to an increased range of motion and better movement in the joint. Mobilizing the joint while a cup is attached, is one of the ways that the desired effect is achieved.

Cupping allows superior myofascial release by loosening muscle adhesions and drawing blood flow into the tissues to encourage healing.

Cupping promotes blood flow and activates the release of synovial fluid in joint areas thereby improving joint discomfort.

If you are looking for a sports massage therapist who can implement a treatment, maintenance and/or prevention plan to keep you top shape, contact me to book an appointment.

Registered Massage Therapist (RMT), DarleeAnn Mathieson, provides sports massage therapy in the Blue Quill area of Edmonton, Alberta. She works with professional and amateur athletes as well as fitness enthusiasts. Using a variety of massage therapy techniques, her goal is to help her massage clients get back to their sport or physical activity as quickly as possible.