07764 189516 lou@louwalker.com

Essential Info

What happens during a massage appointment?

What to expect

Sports massage benefits depend on you and your needs at the time.  There is no set routine or set of techniques and no two massages will ever be the same, even for the same person. However here are some things you could expect:

  • You may need to demonstrate the movements/actions that are causing you problems
  • I may need to observe your whole body even if you have identified a problem in one specific area
  • You will probably need to remove some clothing to allow me to work on the problem area(s)
  • Only the area of your body being worked on will be exposed. Everywhere else will be covered with towels
  • I will probably need to tuck a towel into your clothing, partly to protect it from oil and partly to expose the area to be massaged. I will always ask for your permission first
  • I may ask you to work with me with some techniques and to move around during the session.


Informed consent

A sports massage is a two-way process in which you, the client, are involved at all times.  That means I’ll explain what I’m doing, how and why I’m using particular techniques and ask for feedback from you about pressure, comfort levels and what you are feeling.  At each stage I’ll make sure you understand the process and that you are happy to proceed.

Will it hurt?

Lots of people think sports massage has to hurt. From my experience, both as a therapist and a massage client, I believe a great deal of sports massage can be pretty much pain-free. To work best, massage wants the tissues to be soft and pliable – which they won’t be if you are either in pain or waiting for the pain to start.

However, as we all know, muscles, tendons and ligaments get sore when prodded if they’re damaged or tight. Because one of the many great things about sports massage is that it is very hands on, it involves touching and working directly with those  muscles.  So there can be discomfort.  But a good therapist will work with you to understand your pain threshold and minimise discomfort. It’s not a case of gritting your teeth and putting up with it. Many people describe a ‘good pain’ along the lines of  ‘youch that’s uncomfortable but don’t stop because it feels right!’.

Can I train afterwards?

Unless you are injured, in most cases, you can exercise or train on the same day as a  massage.

Some people’s muscles or limbs feel ‘heavy’ for a few hours or even a day after a massage whereas others feel ‘light’ and energised straightaway. In some circumstances you may experience delayed onset muscle soreness in the day or two after your massage.  I’d always aim to let you know beforehand if this is likely to happen.

There’s no way to predict exactly how your body will react, but again, typically, the more used to massage you are, the smaller any adverse reaction.

How many sessions will I need?

There is lots of evidence to show that regular massage can prevent injury and keep muscles, ligaments and tendons in good condition.  Many elite athletes and coaches believe in two or more massages a week.

Everyone has different needs and responds differently to massage. A single session can have a huge positive effect and you may just benefit from a single session to be in top condition for a specific event.  However, if there is a lot of work to be done (eg if you have had a problem for a long time or if you have been doing lots of training without massage) it may take several sessions to get your muscles etc to respond usefully.  Everyone is different.

I aim to maximise the effect of each session by giving you ideas and techniques for self-treatment so that you can continue the good work between sessions.

Your first appointment

What to wear

A sports massage is a two-way process in which you, the client, are involved at all times.   That means I’ll explain what I’m doing, how and why I’m using particular techniques and ask for feedback from you about pressure, comfort levels and what you are feeling.  At each stage I’ll make sure you understand the process and that you are happy to proceed.

Medical info

I’ll need a range of info including:

  • why you’ve come for sports massage
  • if you have any ongoing medical conditions
  • if you take any medication – including the names, doses and frequency
  • if you’ve had surgery in the last six months
  • details of your GP and any other relevant health professionals.

The information is needed to make sure there are no contraindications ie conditions or circumstances which would make it unsafe for you to have a massage.  Massage affects body systems and it’s in no one’s interest for you to be massaged if it will compromise your health in any way.

All your medical information and details of your massage remain confidential. It is not stored on a computer.


Absolute contraindications ie massage cannot proceed:

  • Trauma/acute inflammation – fractures, open wounds, new sprains and strains, head injuries, haematoma, surgery within past six months
  • Young people under the age of 16 without an accompanying adult
  • First trimester of pregnancy (or longer if there were complications in a previous pregnancy)
  • Anyone under the influence of alcohol or recreatiional drugs
  • Infectious skin complaints, rashes, infections.

Potential contraindications (which may or may not mean massage cannot proceed on that particular day):

  • cardiovascular conditions eg high/low blood pressure, angina, arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, recent heart attack etc
  • arthritic/respiratory/neurological/skeletal conditions
  • infections (bacterial, viral or fungal) – including apparently trivial infections such as colds, coughs, athletes foot, ingrowing toenails
  • cancer, tumours.

This is not an exhaustive list.  Please contact me in advance if you are unsure as to whether to book or keep an appointment. If you have a condition which may be a contraindication to massage, it is a good idea to consult your GP/specialist first and to ask them to write you a letter and to bring along a copy of that letter that can be kept with your notes. It should outline the circumstances under which it is ok to proceed with massage.

Please do not come for the massage if you have a heavy cold or flu. I understand that these things can strike out of the blue and we can rearrange your appointment. If you are ill, massage is not good for you, for me (if I catch your cold) or for other clients coming that day.



Enquiries and appointments

07764 189516


Call or text for more information


£45 per one hour session
(£40 for Winchester and District Athletics Club (WADAC) members)

Clinic hours

Daytime: Monday to Friday, from 6:15am

Evenings: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays    up to 7pm

What people are saying

This is definitely working. I can turn my head easily and no longer support my arm at the end of the day because of the pain.  The ‘lump’ on the side of my neck is considerably reduced – it’s noticeable even in the mirror and drying my hair is much easier! I’d like to keep working on this to see if it’s possible to clear it altogether.

Liz Wakelin

Pilates teacher, walker and climber

You worked wonders in my legs.  Needed at sub 1:37 for New York. Ran 1:36.46 at Gosport today.  Thank you so much.

Susan Bryan


sports massage benefits
sports massage benefits