My wife is a massage therapist.
And she also swims. And she’s also pregnant. Since she is a massage enthusiast, you can probably imagine how many massages she has requested as of late. Luckily, she always guides me through the process with her expertise. So, I feel happy to be able to share some of the things I’ve learned.
Not every professional massage therapist uses oil or lotion. It depends on the modality or technique being used. However, for swimmers it is highly recommended.
The fact that swimmers are constantly exposing their skin to chemically treated water means that the likelihood of having dry skin is quite high. Friction on dry skin equals a bad combo. Also, it just feels more smooth and thorough to have a deep, gliding action across your skin if there is some type of slick surface. Therefore, lotion or oil is a must.
If you are a beginner, lotion is easier to control. Oil can be too slippery for people not used to working with it and you could lose your grip.
It is highly recommended that you use a lotion that is intended for massage. It won’t penetrate into the skin quite as fast which gives you more time to work on the tissue before having to re-apply.
This may vary depending on which types of drills the swimmer has been working on. However, I have noticed some trends.
The common culprit is often the shoulders. Really knead into the muscles and tissue like you were kneading bread. But make sure to have your swimmer tell you if anything ever hurts or if the pressure gets too deep.
If you hate giving massages, here is the next best thing you could do for your swimmer. Buy them an Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Shuffle. That way, they can listen to music in the pool as they swim. It’s truly a rad experience.
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