"After playing for 20 years as a professional hockey player and after playing for several teams in the NHL, preparation and maintenance is an important aspect of my routine. Mario helped me tremendously to recover between games and kept me tuned up and sharp throughout the entire NHL season."

Sean O'Donnell,
Defenseman Chicago Blackhawks, Stanley Cup Winner with Anaheim Ducks 2007

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Mario's Background

Mario Serban is the cofounder of LA Training Room. He is a former Trainer and Massage Therapist for The Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

LA Training Room's Blog - Sports Massage

Sports Massage

October 26, 2011

A lot of people asked me what exactly Sports Massage is! In this article I will explain what Sport Massage is and the benefits.
Sports Massage or Performance Massage originates in ancient Greece and Rome just like the Olympics. Galen, a prominent physician in ancient Rome took Physical Therapy and Massage to a different level. He constructed a facility for wounded roman soldiers that included physical therapy and massage. Back then to be non lethal wounded in a battle it would have been an advantage to be in roman army, considering that you would receive the best treatment available at the time.
Sports Massage is defined by Benjamin & Lamp as “ the science and art of applying massage and related techniques to ensure the health and well-being of the athlete and to enhance athletic performance”.
Now Sports Massage is somehow different from main stream massage although it does include some of the variations of classical massage. It is also different from medical and therapeutic massage however there is a fine line between the two of them. Medical and therapeutic massage focuses more on injuries and specific areas.
Sports Massage falls in three categories: Pre and Post Event Massage and what I call “The Training Room Massage”.
For pre and post event massage clothing stays on, no skin lubricant is need it and it is of shorter duration (less than 30 minutes). This type of massage would most likely occur in a tent before and after you finished a marathon, triathlon or any kind of similar event.
Pre-event is about 15-20 minutes in duration and have a fast, upbeat tempo designed to prepare the athlete physically and mentally for the upcoming event. It stimulates the circulation and by implication the muscles by bringing an abundant supply of oxygen.
Post-event massage main purpose is to cool down and recover the athlete on physical and psychological level. Metabolic wastes builds up in muscles and therefore a circulatory drainage is necessary for the elimination of the waste. The muscles are in a state of congestion and sometimes shock from maximum exertion therefore a slow tempo is recommended.
There is also an Inter-Event massage that is performed on athletes between periods. In fact I was doing that in regular basis on players like Luc Robitaille, Pavol Demitra, Derek Armstrong, Lubomir Visnovsky and many others while I was employed by LA Kings. The main objective of this is to calm down the muscles and bring the much needed oxygen. To do so I used techniques like compression, circular friction and stretching. Also Active Release Technique (ART) plays a major role in alleviating pain or discomfort that could occur during a game or event. This was an effective way to keep the players focused and get them back in the game.
The Training Room sports massage is a combination between pre and post-event massage and classic massage. This massage is not dry therefore skin lubricant is used. This type of massage is provided in training rooms for professional teams or private establishments that are sports orientated, such as LATR. The main objective of this treatment is maintenance, recovery and preparation for an event.
Who can benefit from this massage? Well you don’t have to be a professional athlete to get this kind of massage. If you are an amateur athlete or just an average person that runs 3-4 times a week, or someone that hikes Runyon Canyon in regular basis, or a bike rider, or an amateur swimmer, a golfer, amateur tennis player, a dancer or even someone that just started workout training, then this would be a great way to maintain and prevent any future injuries! I cannot stress enough how important is to do this in regular basis for active people. If someone continues to work through the soreness and goes by the motto “no pain, no gain” they simply set the stage for injuries and breakdowns. I did it before and I regretted and I’m sure that most of you experienced the same at one point.
In short these are a few benefits of Sports Massage:
• Reduces muscle tightness and restriction
• It increases and improves blood and lymph circulation
• Reduces muscle soreness and improves the range of motion and flexibility
• It helps to recover faster from injuries and reduces further injuries
• It provides a psychological boost and creates self confidence

Another important aspect of sports massage is trigger points.
A good therapist should know based on the type of sports or activity where the trigger points are and work those spots. Let’s say you’re a dancer , then most likely you will have trigger point in your foot, Achilles tendon, knees, gluts, and lower back. Sometimes, depending on the type of dance, trigger points can develop in neck and upper back area.
For instance a lot of pros and celebrities from Dancing With The Stars show that I worked on, during the rehearsal for tango dance, many of them end up with neck injuries from perpetuating move.
It is quintessential to work this trigger points thoroughly before it gets worse!
Sports Massage is not available in spas therefore to recessive one you’ll have find a sports clinic or a wellness center or a physical therapist and chiropractor office.
LA Training Room offers the best Sports Massage in Los Angeles Area.
For more information go to LATrainingRoom.com