Russian Sports Massage

Russian Sports Massage started in 1860 and treatment methods were developed further in the former Soviet Union after World War II when pharmaceuticals were in short supply. Physiatrists–medical doctors with Ph.D. degrees in physical therapy– where employed to research the effects of natural healing modalities. From this research came Russian Sports Massage and a very different attitude to massage. Massage therapists are medical professionals in Russia and massage departments are often the largest department in Russian hospitals being crucial to rehabilitation. After seeing your doctor in Russia, he would write a prescription for your massage therapist for specific treatment and strokes to the injury. Massage therapists in Russia are highly trained health professionals who start with a college degree in nursing or some related discipline such as physiotherapy, then undertake months of specialized training. In the U.S. training is much less formalized and I have yet to receive a prescription for a massage. I feel the U.S. medical system would benefit greatly if the AMA could incorporate the idea of massage into health care, but it has been resistant to doing this for some time. More and more doctors in America are starting to acknowledge massage and its benefits, some of whom have undertaken massage training themselves.

My most popular massage, Russian Sports Massage is a medium pressure massage that you will feel today but not tomorrow. Lots of rocking, pumping, and flushing of the muscles along with some trigger point, cross fiber massage and stretching make for a great massage that takes about an hour and a half for a full body massage. This is also the technique I use to warm up the body for deep tissue, but could be considered deep tissue in its own right. I have worked on a couple of Russian therapist and they felt my technique was very good despite not being trained in as much detail as I would have been in Russia.

Benefits of Russian Sports Massage:

  • increase circulation of blood and lymphatic flow
  • healing of acute injuries
  • relaxation
  • therapeutic effects
  • mind healing
  • treatment of chronic medical conditions
  • to stimulate production of endorphins
  • control physical and mental stress
  • increase range of movement

Ailments said to benefit from massage therapy include asthma, insomnia, arthritis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome , hip sprains and strains, rotator cuff injuries, myofascial pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, headache, spastic colon, colic, constipation, and immune function disorders. Because of its gentle, non-invasive nature, Russian massage is considered especially suitable for seniors.