Tag Archives: massage

Sport Massage and the Texas Bar Open

A few weeks ago, Union hosted the Texas Power Bar Open powerlifting meet on September 10th. I was one of the massage therapists asked to provide on-site sports massage therapy to the competitors. It has been an opportunity I’d been looking forward to since I began to study massage therapy, so I was elated to oblige and do my best for down-to-earth and hard-working athletes. I want to talk about my experiences leading up to and at the meet itself.


Several of my clients had begun to train for this meet months in advance. It was very inspiring to be a part of their growth and progress throughout this time. I was there for the tough training days and the really uplifting, powerful weeks, to be physically supportive with bodywork and a cheerleader in their corner. I truly enjoy helping people do and be their best so, I don’t do it for the thanks, but I did receive and appreciate them.


The day of the meet was active and exciting, everyone suited in their singlets and t-shirts. I rolled in with my table, chair, and Theragun in hand and made my way to the station under the easy-up, dodging lantern flies. The day began to blow by, competitor after competitor, one effortful lift after another. Soon, I too got to work; lifters that I knew and had not known yet came to me with twinges here and tightness there, combining my knowledge and intent to make magic happen for them. Their words, not mine. With the ten to fifteen minutes I lent my hands, I believe I was able to make a positive difference in those athlete’s performances. 


My takeaways from the meet:


  1. Doesn’t matter who you are, you can be strong.
  2. Making use of an on-site therapist is only beneficial.
  3. I can’t wait to compete again, and have the crowd behind me next year. 


To end, a definition and sign-off quote:


Sports massage, or athletic massage, is the application of massage techniques that combine sound anatomic and physiologic knowledge, an understanding of strength training and conditioning, and specific massage skills to enhance athletic performance. This bodywork practice enables an athlete to attain their highest potential by accelerating the body’s natural restorative processes, enabling them to participate more often in rigorous physical training and conditioning.


“To be anyone else but the happiest version of yourself is a waste.”



An Introduction to Massage Therapy

There comes a time in every human’s anatomical experience where they have a tension they can’t relieve, a motion they have issues moving through, or the like. Time goes by; you hope it solves itself. Eventually, it comes down to, “I cannot get this out,” whatever it is. To find relief, we take an aspirin, or apply cold or heat to the area, and these remedies can and will work in a lot of cases. But what do you do when this discomfort becomes recurring, chronic, and these tools don’t get the job done? You seek professional opinion. When you can’t fully figure out why you have dysfunction in your tissue, it is the time to ask for help.


The human body is resilient, and it can do a ton, but not without a conduit of some sort. Massage therapy, when it comes to soft tissue dysfunction, is that catalyst, stepping stone to more functional muscle. Conditions such as carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, a frozen shoulder, shin splints, and tight neck are obvious reasons to get bodywork done. This list of injuries continues. It is also beneficial to get work done if you are doing consistent motions, be you a warehouse worker, a bodybuilding athlete, or desk worker; bodywork maintenance will help you avoid injury and extend the life of your physical prowess. Healing and recovery are crucial parts of any person’s lifestyle. With my time in the fitness/wellness field, I profess massage therapy as an essential tool for every person, not because I want to have work (duh), but that I have produced and seen its benefits.


These benefits, though often can be seen soon after the session concludes, really only flourish and stick when sessions have regularity. Determining with what regularity is always a conversation between client and practitioner, based on therapist and client availability and severity of dysfunction. To give a standard, most healthy athletes I work with get seen once a month, mostly as a check. If the two of us have a project or a goal in mind, the frequency may increase to twice or three times a month. I am spoiled and think everyone deserves one every week. The more often you see a licensed massage therapist, the more your soft tissue will thank you in power and mobility.


The more honest and informative you can be with your massage therapist, or other adjacent practitioners, the better they can assume the skills that will most benefit you. The massage practitioner has a duty to create a beneficial, yet ultimately safe and welcome space for their clients. Tell the therapist about your past injuries and surgeries. Tell them about skin conditions you may have or relevant medications you’re taking, like NSAIDs or muscle relaxants.  No judgment is ever passed in my massage room. Everybody’s journey is different and I just want to make sure people get helped along the way.


Humans must do. We must play, we must work, we must do. In this ‘life of do’, we may not always know what we did to create tension in the body, or why it hurts here, or how things got this way, but there are ways to be better, to find yourself in a better position. There is no shame in asking for help to get there. 


Table Time Project

I am excited to announce a new option I will be offering for massage here at Union Fitness and I hope you are excited as well! If you have been interested in trying massage for your first time or you are a regular but a specific area starts to bug you in between sessions, this is your time!


Here are the details: 



This will be starting the first week of May on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4-7pm. The dates will include May 4th, 6th, 11th, 13th, 18th, 20th, 24th, 27th, and 31st.
Sessions will be available at 4pm, 4:30pm, 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm, and 6:30pm.  Each session can be a max of 20 minutes, providing at least 10 minutes transition time for the following client.


What is the cost?

Sessions will be $1 per minute.



Very specific work on an area bothering you
Experience Massage Therapy for your first time!
Less time commitment.
Less financial investment.
Easy scheduling


How to sign up:

At the start of the week a sign up sheet will be posted at the front desk.  You may also contact me, grab me in the gym, or simply sign up a few minutes beforehand if something is bugging you during your workout and the time slot is still open.


Cayt 🙂

Massage Frequency

This is one of the most commonly asked questions I receive as a massage therapist. Now the answer won’t be the same for everyone. Depending on what training cycle you’re in or whether you just need to relax, the answer will vary. If you are someone who just wants relaxation, once a month to six weeks is probably a good fit for you.


Depending on your training cycle, if you were going really hard in training or getting ready to compete, your body is going to need a bit more recovery. You may have areas that bother you often or areas of tightness, and that’s going to require more focused work and that takes time. My suggestion for those clients is that we spend an entire hour working on the problem areas and that they come back every 2 to 4 weeks. If you feel like “I just can’t give up an area of the body” I would suggest going for 90 minutes so that we can have time for focused work but also allowing the whole body to receive the benefits of massage. After a competition or a race it may take multiple sessions for the body to get back to homeostasis so to speak.


In the recovery session the therapist would use lighter strokes paying attention to how the tissue responds to pressure. Using modalities, such as Swedish massage encourage blood flow and toxin removal through lymph drainage and improved circulation. This really helps to alleviate soreness in the muscle. A more focus session or deep tissue session involves applying sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target the inner layers of your muscles and connective tissues. This helps to break up scar tissue that forms after an injury and reduce tension in muscle and tissue. This modality can promote healing by increasing that all important blood flow and reducing inflammation.


The body has a mind of its own and after exercise induced trauma the muscles may only allow so much work from the massage therapist. Make sure you are having these conversations with your massage therapist. That way you both can be on the same page about your expectations and the goals For each massage session.


If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the massage therapy staff here at Union Fitness and we can help to get you started feeling and moving your best.


Sarah Paladin