There are a number of different things to consider when you are booking your next Sports Massage appointment. This is why there is no strict rule as to how long you should wait between sessions.
Here are a few questions that might help you:
* Are you recovering from an injury?
* Have you increased your training?
* Do you suffer with repetitive strain injuries?
* Do you hold tension in muscles which prevent full range of movement?
* Are you preparing for a an event?
If you answered 'yes' to any of these, consider reading more to find out your options.
1. If you have an injury, either an accidental muscle 'pull' or tear, or a collision with an object or from a fall; the body goes into the acute or inflammatory phase. This stage needs ice, compression and rest rather than massage and can last 48 - 72 hours.
However, if you are in the stage after 72 hours, where the body is starting to repair, light massage can be applied.
The final part of the healing process takes place from about 3 weeks and up to a year after the injury. Regular massage can be helpful during this time to stretch the new fibres in the same direction of the muscle and to limit the amount of scar tissue to the area.
2. Increased training places stress on the body. You then need sufficient recovery time to allow for these adaptations to occur. Without the right progression, or recovery, the muscles can become irritated and feel tight.
Massage can help by encouraging the muscles to recover from fatigue by removing the toxins and by enhancing the blood flow and the supply of nutrients back to the body.
The time between sessions should be dependent upon the training schedule, but regular monthly massage can help prevent overuse injuries.
3. If you suffer with a repetitive strain injury, sports massage can help by warming the tissues. Techniques can be used to encourage better alignment of new scar tissue and can help to restore range of movement and flexibility to the muscles. In these cases, a number of massage sessions close together can be beneficial to promote healing, followed by monthly treatments to maintain mobility.
4. If you tend to hold tension in your day to day lifestyle; regular, monthly massage sessions can help induce relaxation and can work to separate and lengthen the muscle fibres. This can help to reduce the tension allowing less discomfort and more movement to the area.
5. If you have spent time training for a big event then sports massage can help you to mentally relax. It can help as a one- off treatment to promote confidence that you are 'ready'. The positive psychological effect can increase a sense of confidence and well- being that you have done everything necessary for you to be successful in your goal.
So, how often should you have a Sports Massage?
The answer is dependent on the individual, the circumstances, the training schedule, the personal time that you have/ don't have and the benefits that you feel from your treatment.
If you are not sure, just ask.