Mel Cash, the founder of the legendary London school of Sports massage was in Delhi recently to train therapists at The Imperial Hotel. He shared some important facts about fitness massage with Foreverfit. 

Sports Massage is a preventive therapy, useful for everybody, from an athlete to an ordinary person who’s tired at the end of the day,” says Mel Cash, founder of London School of Sports Massage( see pic above).

This world renowned fitness massage therapist and author of 4 books, was in the city, to train massage therapists at the Imperial Hotel.

How it all began

Mel began his career in fitness massage therapy 30 years ago, when he accidentally discovered the potential of massage. This former marathon runner switched careers, after he massaged one aching leg (after a race) with some salad oil, and discovered the benefits. “The leg I massaged felt remarkably better than the other one,” he says, with a broad smile.

Deep tissue treatment

A sports or fitness massage is a deep tissue treatment, that can temporarily relieve muscular-skeletal aches and pains. Massage can also facilitate the healing of injuries, and improve your posture.

Importantly, a sports massage can spot an injury or a strained muscle faster, and acts as a preventive. “It should enable an athlete or dancer to keep performing,” says Mel.

Proper training matters

Well trained practitioner are important, says Mel. “Knowledge of anatomy and physiology combined with a natural intuition, and sound training is essential,” he says. When practiced wrong, any massage can lead to injuries.

Also, each treatment must be personalized, since each individual is different. “There’s no single prescription for massage.”  So make sure you are in the right hands! Also, do note that resident guests at the The Imperial Spa can avail of a Fitness massage by therapists, trained by Mel.

Relieves back and neck pain

A fitness massage addresses lifestyle issues of posture, back pain and neck pain in a substantial way. But Mel stresses that while massage can help alleviate the symptoms, it isn’t a long term remedy.

Tackling the root cause of these problems, calls for lifestyle changes. “Exercise and stretch daily, get rid of excess body weight, and don’t sit for prolonged periods,” he advises.

Change your posture 

One interesting facet of back and neck pain, is that it often originates in our core body. “When we sit for too long, our abdominal muscles are under-used,  and the back muscles tighten, leading to eventual pain,” says Mel.

But, solutions are within reach. “Strengthen your abdominal muscles in the right manner, to increase their core stability for supporting the back,” says Mel.

Pelvic muscle tightening is also advisable. But Mel says that it’s important to maintain a balance, and avoid over-doing any kind of exercise or get faddish about any regimen. “Your quality of life depends upon everything being in balance. Regular sports massage is most effective, when combined with a healthy lifestyle,” concludes Mel.

Ritu Bhatia is the Chief Editor of Her stories on health, medicine and wellness also appear in Outlook magazine, Harper’s bazaar and The Hindu.