sports massage therapy on an athlete's legs

How can Sports Massage delivered by an Exercise Physiologist benefit you?

Benchmark Physio is committed to delivering holistic care to anyone walking through the door. To ensure each client’s treatment plan is tailored for the best outcome, we continuously collaborate and share expertise to ensure each client’s needs are met.  

Here at Benchmark Physio, our sports massages are administered by accredited Exercise Physiologists. Accredited Exercise Physiologists are university-trained allied health professionals who specialize in exercise prescription to lower the onset or severity of chronic disease, assist in musculoskeletal and neuromuscular rehabilitation, and provide support to improve quality of life factors regardless of age, fitness level, or health condition. 

They possess an expert understanding of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, biomechanics, and psychology, which complements their sports massage therapy skillset. An Exercise Physiologist is able to assess a client’s problems, formulate a hypothesis and treatment plan.  The treatment plan can incorporate various massage techniques, including Effleurage, Petrissage, trigger point release, and cross friction massage.  


Are all massages the same?

There are many types of massage, including Swedish massage, Traditional Chinese massage, Thai massage, and Sports Massage etc. The image of massage is portrayed as a mystical technique, which is performed by intuition. This is because the objective of each massage is not fully understood.  In its real sense, ‘intuition’ means immediate unreasoned perception. To state that massage is intuitive is to imply that it can be practiced using instinctive actions in the absence of any reasoning. Sports massage practiced by a professional therapist is not intuitive, as their skills are based on sound biological and scientific principles, as well as clinical experience. Each massage is designed to achieve a specific goal. 

Many spas offer Swedish massages, which manipulate the superficial soft tissues. “Tui”, “Nie” and “Da” are traditional Chinese massage techniques used to balance the body’s energy. As part of Thai massage, the recipient is stretched and deep massaged on every part of the body, including the fingers, toes, ears, knuckles, back, and neck. Sports massage focuses on promoting recovery from overloaded muscles and improving performance and function from sports and poor posture. The techniques and duration are different because only affected and adjacent muscles that impact movement will be targeted during the sports massage.   


Who will benefit from Sports Massage?

The easy answer to this question is athletes. Athletes require precise use of their bodies when they participate in sports, either as amateurs or as professionals. The athlete trains the nervous system and muscles to perform in a specific way. Often, repetitive use of one muscle group leads to hypertrophy and changes in strength, movement patterns, connective tissue formation, and compensation patterns in the rest of the body. This stress increases the risk of injury in athletes.  

On the contrary, desk-bound workers position their bodies in a precise position for a prolonged period of time, training their nervous systems and muscles in a particular way. This mechanical stress causes specific muscles to be loaded, which leads to increase muscle tone and discomfort in office workers.  

Anyone whose muscles have been overloaded can benefit from massage in both scenarios above. Professionals who perform massage must understand biomechanics and muscle functions to address compensation. A lack of understanding about the demands placed on a person often leads to inappropriate massage care that includes invasive methods that at best cause fatigue and at worst cause tissue damage. Athletes’ or office workers’ health and well-being can be restored through massage. Physiologically, this produces parasympathetic dominance in the autonomic nervous system, which supports homeostasis and self-healing. 


How does Sports Massage reduce stress and anxiety?

The increase in everyday demands such as a high workload, meeting deadlines, and taking care of family needs puts our bodies under constant stress. This type of stress sets off an alarm system by the hypothalamus and with the combination of nerve and hormonal signals prompts adrenal glands (atop of the kidney) to release adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline increases heart rate, elevates blood pressure, and drains energy supplies, which leads to overeating and fatigue. The cortisol increase blood sugar, alters immune system responses, and suppresses the digestive system. This complex natural alarm system affects mood control, motivation, and fear.  

When stressors are always present and the body constantly feels under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on. The long-term activation of the stress response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that follow can disrupt almost all the body’s processes. This increases the risk of many health problems in the body.  

Massage techniques that use deep pressure and wringing reduce muscular tension and stress. As a result of these techniques, muscle tension is reduced, circulation around the body, and flexibility is improved. In addition, these techniques also have the effect of reducing generalized stress and anxiety.


What to expect at Benchmark Physio during a Sports Massage?

Prior to the sports massage treatment, we will gather your history and assess your condition to identify the root cause of your problems. A functional movement is part of the assessment for the Sports Massage Therapist to understand the stress within the muscles and whether any dysfunctions or pain are associated with activities. This information allows one eye to view the client through the lens of a Sports Massage Therapist, while the other eye views the motor control issue through the lens of an Exercise Physiologist. Identifying potential impairments allows us to provide hands-on remedial work that the client requires with an option to improve their function. We will discuss the treatment options and expected treatment outcomes after the thorough assessments, so you can decide and experience if our treatment plan is right for you.   

Sports Massage Therapists can recognize common sports injuries and refer the clients to appropriate medical professionals for further management. After a diagnosis has been made and a rehabilitation plan formulated, a Sports Massage Therapist can assist in the muscle healing process and help the individual to return to functional mobility.   


Manage Your Aches and Strains with Sports Massage at Benchmark Physio

We are committed to delivering superior clinical outcomes to manage your aches and strains using evidence-based physiotherapy care, as well as a holistic approach through treatments like sports massage. Learn more about the conditions we treat here.

Meet Our Physiotherapist

Ng Hong Kai, an experienced physiotherapist, has carefully reviewed the information on this page.

hong-kai's profile photo

Clinic Director and Chief Physiotherapist​​

  • Master of Clinical Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal), Curtin University (Australia)
  • Master of Physiotherapy, University of Sydney (Australia)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise & Sports Science), University of Sydney (Australia)
  • Member of Australian College of Physiotherapists and Australian Physiotherapy Association
  • Full registration with Allied Health Professions Council, Singapore, and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  • GEMt Certified Dry Needling Practitioner 

Hong Kai has been practising musculoskeletal physiotherapy for more than a decade. He is the first Singaporean to achieve dual credentials as both an APA Titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and a tertiary trained Exercise Scientist.

Hong Kai's broad and extensive skillset allows him to create solutions that are simple, effective and tailored to a client’s musculoskeletal needs. His beliefs in continuing education and self improvement led him to complete his Masters in Clinical Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal), where he had a chance to participate in formal research into knee osteoarthritis under the supervision of world renowned researcher and physiotherapist Prof Peter 0′ Sullivan. 

Hong Kai has experience treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, with a specific focus on addressing lower back, neck, shoulder and knee pain.