Grooming, Health & Fitness

Leo Heng, A Massage Therapist Really Recommends you Do a Sports Massage

Leo Heng, A Massage Therapist Really Recommends you Do a Sports Massage

Leo Heng, a Massage Therapist Really Recommends You Do a Sports Massage
Did you know that there’s a condition called “text neck”? If you’re unable to connect the dots, it refers to the strain on your neck when you look down at your shiny mobile phone.

Think about it this way — your head weighs on average, around four kilograms. As you bend it forwards, this stresses your cervical spine with experts saying that the stress doubles with every inch your head tilts down.

That our friends, can amount to at least 22 kilograms of stress on your cervical spine itself. Now, think about how long you spend playing Candy Crush, swiping on Tinder or online shopping on your phone.

Here, we have Leonard Heng, a massage therapist, to deliver the lowdown on why you should be going for a sports massage. And yes, you can do it even if you’re not Pang Sheng Jun or Loh Kean Yew.


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What exactly is a sports massage? Who would you recommend it for?
A sports massage involves the manipulation of soft tissues to benefit a person who engages in regular physical activity. However, anyone can go for it!

It isn’t limited to just athletes. Regular gym goers and anyone with nagging aches, pains and stiff muscles will benefit from it too.

Do I have to have some kind of “experience” getting deep tissue massages before opting for it? How deep exactly?
None whatsoever! You can be completely new to massages and still go for a deep tissue massage.

It’s really important that the masseur or masseuse communicates with the client and guides them through the session(s). It can be “painful” so being wary of pain threshold and sensitive spots of the client and adjusting accordingly is key.

The aim is to reach the deeper layers of muscle and fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles), breaking up scar tissue and physically breaking down muscle “knots” so… pretty deep. [Laughs]


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What do you think you do better than your competition? Do you think you have an edge above them thanks to your background as a dancer?
I believe it’s the engagement I have with my clients. I love talking and getting to connect with my client on a more personal level through the session.

It helps ease them into the session and lay their trust in my hands.

I do believe I have an edge with my experience in various physical fields. I’ve been dancing for almost 20 years, I’m certified in Yoga and Personal Training so I take all these notes and blend them into my practice as a massage therapist.

What are the most common ailments amongst your customers? Why? How do you address them?
A vast majority come to get help with their whole back and neck.

We live in a age of technology and so most people have a habit of being glued to their devices and constantly looking down. Also, the kind of work lifestyle, sometimes they have to sit, stand or walk for long hours (e.g. accounting, bankers, nurses), coupled with bad postural habits and body awareness.


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What is a Sports Massage? 🤔 [DM for rates & enquiries] • Due to inadequate stretches or excessive overload, our muscles may at times become stiff and unable to function optimally. Such muscular strains may even cause severe pain, numbness, stiffness or reduced range of motion in joints • What is a Sports Massage? The aim of a Sports Massage is to ✅ release muscle knots and scar tissue ✅ stretch stiff muscles to increase range of motion in joints ✅ flush away lymphatic wastes (such as lactic acid) ✅ speed up the recovery of strained or sore muscles ✅ aid in correcting muscular imbalances • I get this question asked a lot so I hope this gives you a deeper understanding to my practice 😊 • You can DM me for my rates and if you have other enquiries 👊🏻 There’s also a NSF and student discount available 😊 • model: @thisisgabrielseow 📸: @fauzersz 🙌🏻

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Without getting too wordy, the body is like a Rubik’s Cube. Each part is connected to one another and it’s up to me to manipulate it with the right moves to get it back to its original state.

So I would typically do a “scan” of all the components, then focus on specific areas that have higher tension and working from a macro to micro focus.

When is it not a good idea to do a sports massage or massage therapy?
Though massage therapy is generally safe, deep tissue massage uses very firm pressure and may not be safe for everyone.

If you have any condition, it’s important to consult a doctor or your primary care provider first to find out what type of massage they recommend.

Come to think of it, what is “massage therapy”?
Massage therapy is more of an all-encompassing term used to mention all the varying degrees of pressure and techniques used by the therapist.

There’s sports massage, deep tissue massage, swedish massage, etc.


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Are there common misconceptions to your job that you’d like to address?
Pain is not a effective marker for a good massage.

Regardless of perception of the depth of the pressure (some patients have a bit of a masochistic streak and think it’s not working if it’s not hurting), as a therapist, I can definitely feel when I’m working too deep or too hard.

I can do therapeutic work and still be within your comfort zone. That whole “no pain, no gain” saying does not apply for massage.

Discomfort, sure, but there should not be pain. Pain means something is wrong. I will always work with the client to determine threshold, guide when necessary and be wary of my strength.

How long have you been doing it for?
I graduated about four years ago. Actively, I’ve been consistent for the 1.5 years and going strong.

If you’ve finished reading this story about Leo Heng and the benefits of a sports massage and are bored, listless or sick of doing your job, click here to catch up with our October 2020 issue!