MS 150 Sports Massage for Cyclists

The Ariana Institute’s Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques Manual is part of a series of massage manuals that are designed to help deepen the knowledge of current massage therapists and introduce new massage therapists to the world of massage and bodywork. The Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at, including:

  • Sports Massage
  • CranioSacral Therapy
  • Chair Massage
  • Deep Tissue Upper Body
  • Deep Tissue Lower Body
  • Addiction Recovery and Therapeutic Massage


This manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of advanced therapy modalities and techniques beneficial for your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about sports massage featured in the Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques Manual.


My hometown, Austin, Texas, is in the “Top 10 Fittest Cities in America,” as listed on Sharecare, an online health and wellness platform, so it makes sense that sports massage would be a logical specialization for a massage therapist here in the heart of Texas.

The first organized sports event where I worked as a massage therapist was the BP MS 150 Bike Ride. This ride is the largest event of its kind in North America. Organized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, BP MS 150 bike rides are held around the country to raise funds to fight multiple sclerosis (MS) and generate awareness about a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. There are typically around 13,000 riders for the two–day, 180–mile bike ride from Houston to Austin. At the mid–point between Houston and Austin, in La Grange, the cyclists stay in hundreds of tents at the Fayette County Fairgrounds. They stop for the night, receive sports massages, rest, refuel, and share in the camaraderie of the event.

My sports massage team offered our services to the Halliburton team from Houston. Our goal in servicing the cycling population was to ease discomforts from Saturday’s ride from Houston to LaGrange and prepare the cyclists for Sunday’s ride from LaGrange to Austin.

We arrived early, around 8 am, to set up our tables and supplies, and then we waited for hours for the cyclists to begin pouring in later in the afternoon. We had plenty of time to talk with our fellow massage therapists and with the coordinators of the massage team.

It was interesting not quite knowing what to expect during my first sports massage event for the Halliburton team. I was happy to see that the cyclists showered before they came to the massage tables and I was pleased that they were all very grateful for their sessions.

The first year I massaged for the Halliburton team things flowed rather smoothly and we completed our work day at a pretty decent time; however, the second time I worked for the Halliburton massage team, there were huge headwinds which caused considerable setbacks for both the cyclists and the massage therapists. But we remained fueled by the sense of adventure to try something different, and to trade our treatment rooms for a unique and fresh environment at a sporting event in order to benefit a good cause. The atmosphere was festive. I was quite fortunate that several friends from Austin were on the massage team with me.

I recall that one of the massage therapists really had her system down. I was impressed. She brought a pretty rug, some room dividers, and signage. She also had music playing in her corner of the tent. As a newbie, I didn’t quite know what to expect, so I brought about ten times as many linens as anyone else. I laugh at myself now for being so naïve. Sports event massage usually requires plastic covering for the tables, few linens and very little bolstering.

For this cycling event, most of the work was focused on the legs, glutes, low back, neck, and hands. The athletes were in great shape; their muscles were long and lean and very firm. These were definitely not fluff and buff sessions! Once they arrived for their sessions, it was back–to–back massaging for several hours to help alleviate aches and pains accumulated along the way. All in all, it was exhilarating being in the midst of hundreds of big white tents providing massage for athletes willing to cycle 180 miles from Houston to Austin in order to support a worthy cause. There was something very heartwarming about being part of that process and offering sports massage for a very unique, charitable, and fit group of athletes.

I would like to share a quote with you written by Steve Capellini that succinctly sums up my experience with the cyclists of the BP MS 150, “On one level, massage actually has little to do with muscles and joints and hands and backs.  It has to do with the person inside the body giving the massage and the person inside getting the massage.  The real massage is the transmission of a message from the giver to the receiver and back again: and that message is likely to contain elements of gratitude, understanding, compassion and shared awareness.”

Ariana Vincent was awarded the 2015 CE Provider of the Year Award by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. She is CEO of the Ariana Institute and a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor whose classes are accepted throughout the United States. Ariana is also a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Honoree and author of the Ariana Institute’s therapy manual series available on Amazon.

To read the foreword of the Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques Manual, visit
The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Sports Massage CE course, as well as over thirty other CE courses, can be accessed on the Ariana Institute’s YouTube Channel at
To order your copies of the Ariana Institute’s Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques Manual, visit
For additional information about the Ariana Institute and to register for online continuing education and MTI courses visit

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB
Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB


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