Massage sessions can actually be provided in three different phases:
- As part of a warm-up phase, some 15-20 minutes before training. This can either relax an overstimulated athlete or arouse an apathetic one.
- During training where massage is given help accommodate for high training loads and to increase the athlete’s training potential.
- After training where massage is regarded as being at least two or three times more effective for recovery than passive rest. These treatments facilitate recovery from the effects of fatigue, the reduction of muscle tension and a lowering of stress levels.
A general recommendation for restorative massage is 2-6 hours following the completion of training. For an average person the frequency of treatments would not really need to be any more than 1-2 sessions per week. This frequency, of course, needs to be balanced with the type of training undertaken, intensity of the recovery program and the availability/affordability of a masseur.
If you are going to see a masseur you don’t necessarily need to have a whole body massage each time you attend. Sometimes a localised treatment may be necessary, depending on your body’s needs at the time. For males especially, that have not been stretching much, I would recommend a strong focus on the shoulder and chest region.
This will assist in opening up these areas and help with your flexibility as well.