When is the best time for a sports massage..
This is a question asked by many amateur athletes. As there is a variety of different techniques and approaches used, it depends on which part of the ‘journey’ you are at leading up to the event you’re participating. The frequency of scheduling a sports massage during your training phase would also depend on the intensity of your training, time and budget. On average, it would be ideal to schedule a session once a month, to at least work out tension and muscular waste by-products built up during your training. It can also be less painful when the sessions are scheduled as regularly as possible.
Many already practice this and finding them beneficial, consider sports massage an integral part of their training as well. Leading up to and after an event, the time to schedule a sports massage can become more specific.
a) It’s generally best to schedule a sports massage 4-7 days before your event. Your therapist can get deep into those muscles to release any tension built up from training. And it also allows enough time for your body to get over any soreness and fatigue experienced from the massage, as well as give the muscles time to adjust or ‘recalibrate’. It is also an appropriate time since this is also when athletes generally start to taper off their training.
b) If you were only able to arrange a massage 1-2 days before an event, then it should be a light and relaxing Swedish or aromatherapy massage. The focus should be on stretching and loosening up any last bits of tense muscles. You definitely do not want to feel any residual soreness during an event.
c) We also see many athletes having their trainers or massage therapist work on them just before an event. In these cases, the massage techniques are quite quick and not too deep. The objective is to stimulate and increase circulation, thus warming the muscles up, getting the athletes pumped and ready for their event.
During an Event:
It is also very common to see massage booths set up during at event for athletes or in a more professional setting, with athletes being worked on during a game. Here, massages are more 10-20 minute ‘quick fixes’. As the event or game is still on-going, you wouldn’t want to get too relaxed. These sessions target kinks or stiffness incurred during the game or match. They help relief some pain or tension and aid in increasing range of motion for the athlete to continue for the entire duration of the event.
Immediately after an event, especially a long distance, endurance one, muscles might still be really sore, tender and inflamed. So a sports massage might not be the most beneficial, or comfortable. Instead, opt for a more soothing and relaxing one to calm those tight muscles. You’ll probably find a sports massage more effective and beneficial at least 24 hours after an event. You’re in less pain and your therapist will be able to work into the deeper layers of your muscles to get them loose and supple again. Some might even prefer to schedule a hard session 2-3 days later.
Finally, after any massage, it’s important to drink lots of water to flush out toxins and waste products flushed from the muscles. Your muscles also take time to recover and adjust, so it’s also often common to feel tired and a little sore the next 2-3 days. That is why it is important to know how your body reacts to massages and thus make it easier to know when to schedule sessions before and after any event.
About the author
Janice is an experienced massage therapist, who is highly skilled in sports massage. She is also a senior trainer and has extensive knowledge in the Usui System of Reiki Healing, which means she always has a holistic approach in her treatment. Building a close relationship with her clients and identifying their individual needs is an essential part of her work.
If you may need a sports massage contact 6222 2451 or 6314 4440 to book an appointment with Janice today.