Sports massages get mixed reviews, and some of the ‘hype’ may not be true, causing many fears which will stop a person trying to become ‘pain free’ in fear of the ‘unknown’.
Some people fear them and believe what they’ve heard, that they are ‘extremely painful’ and that you will be left ‘blue’ with bruises. Others report that they ‘relieve’ them of pain and tension, that they would not live well without a regular monthly session. I get asked many questions, pre-session, but I do receive even more comments post session. So on that basis, I thought I would compile them into 8 things you should know before embarking on a Sports massage session.
Come prepared for discomfort – Do they hurt?
In all honestly there will be some discomfort during the session. To what level, when working with me as the therapist, is all down to my clients honesty. I regularly check in with a numbered system 1-10. A 10 being extreme discomfort that would make the client ‘jump’ off the table. I make sure to aim for a level 8 maximum. If a client has an aversion to ‘pain’ I change the technique I am using to try and achieve the same result in a different way. Whatever happens, I always listen to my clients individual needs. If I believe a client can handle more, and I need to create a bit of discomfort to aid ‘release’, then I will discuss and get client approval first. All in all, there will always be some discomfort but a Sports massage does not have to be painful.
Be well hydrated
If you do not drink enough your muscles can stiffen and will translate to a more painful massage. Make sure you sip water, little and often, before your appointment. Get into the practice of good hydration habits.
Do not expect a relaxing massage
You will be moved about during a session. A Sports massage is no spa session. You will have to be physically interacting and engaging with your therapist, and willing to complete any homework given to you to aid recovery and to become ‘pain free’.
Post massage soreness is common
From the treatment received and also to show weaknesses that the therapist can treat in future sessions. This soreness can last up to 48 hours, and will gradually dissipate.
Rest for up to 48 hours post massage
Book a massage knowing that you may not be able to exercise, train or compete for up to 48 hours post session.
Eat only a light meal before your massage.
What to wear
Expect to be in your underwear, but covered appropriately.
What to tell your therapist before your massage
Make the therapist aware, pre session, if you are prone to bruising.