No doubt, sports massage offers lots of benefits. In fact, it can help better your athletic performance, improve your flexibility, boost your circulatory system, and speed up your recovery time after a sports activity.
However, this is not enough reason to be in a hurry to book an appointment with a sports massage therapist. There are certain things you need to know before getting a sports massage to avoid wasted cash, awkward moments and potential pains.
Without much ado, use the following tips as a guide before getting a sports massage.
1. Research about sports massage
What is the essence of signing up for something you barely know about? You need to first understand what a sports massage is before you book an appointment with a sports massage therapist.
Sports massage is sometimes customized for athletes to fit their individual needs. But most times they are targeted to help improve athletic performance, reduce recovery time and prevent injuries. So, try to know the purpose for which you are getting a sports massage before opting for one.
2. Learn about the different types and styles of massage
There are different types of massage including the pre-event, post-event, restorative and rehabilitative massage and each has its individual benefit.
- Pre-event: This helps to loosen up your muscle for better athletic performance.
- Post-event: This relaxes your muscles and speeds up your recovery process.
- Restorative: This helps to reduce the risk of injury even when you push yourself harder during a training process.
- Rehabilitative: This is specially designed for alleviating pains, treating injuries and keeping the body in a healthy form.
So it is important to know the nuances of each type to understand what you are signing up for.
Also, sports massage comes with different styles and they all have their individual benefits. So you need to know the technique that will meet your particular need.
3. Know if the massage studio is accredited
There are many spas that are well designed to attract athletes but not all are accredited. So don’t fall prey of these non-professionals if you don’t want to get a poor result. Try to make enough research to know if the studio is accredited before booking or attending an appointment. Also, ensure your therapist has the right certification before putting yourself down on the table.
4. Sports massage is different from a spa treatment
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you will get the relaxation and leisure you get from spas at the massage studio. It’s a different ball game down there. In fact, you’ll be required to move, stretch, and interact with your therapist throughout the massage session.
5. Ensure you are well-hydrated before you arrive
Don’t believe the myth that you’ll be hydrated after a sports massage. It is completely deceptive. As a matter of fact, you’ll feel pain and discomfort from stiffened muscles if you’re not well-hydrated before a massage session. So, ensure you’re sipping enough water before you get to the massage studio.
6. Soreness normal
You are most likely going to feel some soreness after your sports massage but don’t assume something is wrong. It is actually normal. And the soreness usually subsides in less than 48 hours after a sports massage.
7. Avoid heavy-eating
Before going for your appointment with your sports massage therapist ensure you stay away from any heavy meal. This is for your own good to avoid feeling discomfort when you are required to move or when you lie face down on the massage table. Besides, massage slows down metabolic processes like digestion. So, if you don’t want to feel crappy on that table, make sure you eat light.
8. Put on your underwear
You’ll be required to remove your shirt and pants during a sports massage session. So it is wise to wear your undergarments before going for your appointment with a sports massage therapist. Sometimes, however, you’ll be given a sheet or towel for comfort.
9. Anybody can opt for sports massage
Many people believe sports massages are meant for athletes alone but this is completely wrong. Although some techniques are specially designed for athletic individuals, still sports massage can be helpful for you if you are experiencing chronic pains or you’re injured. So, don’t hesitate to consult a sports massage therapist to make inquiries of techniques that can be suitable for your body needs.
Remember, sports massage isn’t a one-size-fits-all tool, so ensure you keep the points highlighted above in mind before you book an appointment or get on that massage table.