It is often said that good things come in small packages, but you wouldn’t expect to hear that from the front row of a rugby scrum. But that is exactly what happens when an injured prop walks away from Samantha Leighton’s clinic. Despite many of her clients towering over her and looking as though they could run through brick walls, she is the one person they turn to when the pack gets a little too rough. But it took a little bit of time to convince them.
“Sometimes the big and burly rugby players look a little sceptical when they see a woman coming to tackle their ailments before and after a game, but they soon see and feel the benefit of what I do.”
Personal fitness and healthy, active lives are extremely important for many people who enjoy a wide variety of lifestyles, at any age, and in any line of work. A growing number of people are using the skills and knowledge of personal trainers, gyms and fitness classes to keep them in shape and healthy. But who keeps the experts on top of their game?
Sam was a freelance personal trainer and fitness instructor until a seriously torn hamstring, while training for an off road marathon, stopped her in her tracks. A painful episode, but one that led Sam’s career in a direction that she didn’t expect.
Sam spent time recovering from the injury and experienced many different techniques that all help to rehabilitate the body after trauma. One of these techniques made a lasting impression on her.
“While I was recovering, one of the most beneficial therapies that I received was sports massage. While I knew the physiological and biological theory about how the body works, I was amazed to actually experience the benefit from a professional and dedicated sports massage therapist. It was so much more than a simple rub down for aching muscles.”
Sam was so impressed that she immediately looked into the qualifications required to perform the role herself. Qualifying in 2009, Sam has been bringing her skills, knowledge and healing hands to North Yorkshire, with a growing number of people benefitting from the dedicated and professional massage for a number of aches and pains, and also to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
The skills that Sam has gained as a sports massage therapist have combined well with the knowledge from her time as a personal trainer. It gives her the ability to see cases from both sides of the professional fence, providing her with a well rounded background to bring to her surgery. Add to this , her bright, friendly personality and love of helping people, it is easy to see why she has an increasing number of clients coming for consultation at her Darlington office. Along with running the thriving surgery, Sam often finds herself on the road as the role of a sports massage therapist isn’t confined to the treatment table. Sam has provided corporate fitness advice for the BBC, worked in many locations in London and regularly finds herself “on the job” at marathons, cross country events and rugby teams.
The name “sports massage” may lead you to think that this is something that is reserved for elite sportsmen and women, but, as Sam explains, it is something that can help a huge variety of people and is becoming more accessible.
“Sports massage is concerned with the care and rehabilitation of the body’s muscles, ligaments and tendons. Just because we don’t perform at the highest levels doesn’t mean that we can’t improve our health and fitness in the same way. Sports massage can enhance a sporting performance, but it also prevents many common injuries in the first place by fully preparing the body for any physical exertion. As sports massage therapists, we are trained to be able to detect tiny variations in the soft tissue that can indicate tension and injury that may otherwise go undetected. We can then correct the causes of these small variations and prevent a more serious problem in the future. Of course, this applies to anybody, in any walk of life, not just the David Beckhams and Andy Murrays. Every day aches and pains are caused by the same muscle, tendon and ligament stress that can blight high level sports performers, and we can relieve those in exactly the same way.”
It was the range of benefits that clients feel that intrigued Sam when she first looked into the details of sports massage. Not only does the massage detect and treat specific physiological problems, it also relieves stress and tension, enhances posture, re-energises tired bodies and improves recovery times after exercise. It even goes as far as to assist with the remodelling of scar tissue. Sam often finds that clients achieve relief from headaches and nausea that seemed to be unconnected, but were caused by the stress and tension that she helps to release.
If you would like to see how Sam can help you, sporting injury or otherwise, you can contact her using the following details.