The benefits of regular massage therapy

How often do you have a massage? Most people I meet would say ‘not very often’ or ‘not often enough’! Some would even say they’ve never had a massage. But I do have a hardcore of clients who have at least one massage a month and more if they can afford it. They would say they feel the benefits of regular massage therapy. Some of those benefits would include:

  • Relaxation – everyone is so time pressured and with our busy lifestyles it’s very therapeutic to book an hour for yourself just to relax. Stress can be the cause of many ailments so it is important to take control of it before it takes control of you. Massage works on the sympathetic nervous system which helps lower the heart rate, slow the benefits of regular massage therapy own breathing and your body will begin to release some of the stresses of the day.
  • Reduce muscular tension – regular massage will start to break down the tightest of muscles over time. Even though most of us have poor postural habits, regular massage can start to loosen the muscles fibres, help flush out toxins and aid recovery if having suffered an injury or sprain. I’ve had desk-bound clients come to me with typical pain and tension in the neck and shoulders. I’ve worked on these areas weekly and then reduced the sessions to monthly and most clients experience a more pain free existence including a reduction in headaches which can accompany this kind of tension.
  • Boost sports performance – if you play regular sport or go to the gym then adding massage into your post-sport activity can help reduce muscle tension and then reduce the likelihood of injury. Massage can help flush out the lactic acid that is produced during muscle exertion and this is what causes stiffness in the muscles.
  • Prevention measures – regular massages will hopefully make you feel better, reduce aches and pains and improve mobility and joint function and help prevent these problems reoccurring.
  • Rehabilitation – if you’ve suffered the misfortune of a trauma such as a car crash, or having had major surgery for example, a regular massage is possible so long as it is tailored to the nature of your condition, at the right point of recovery (this would need to be discussed with the therapist) and alongside or after your treatment plan with your Consultant or GP. Massage can have many physiological benefits as it works on all systems of the body helping it to work more efficiently. Massage also works well on the more physical aspects of rehabilitation such as working on muscular tension and even helping to breakdown scar tissue.

Everyone is different so experiences of massage therapy can differ from person to person but these benefits of regular massage are generally felt by most people. What is important, is to find a massage therapist who is qualified, insured and carries out a consultation with you and listens to what you want from the massage. They should also advise you on your aftercare to prolong the effects of the massage.

How many times have you been suffering from a bad back say, and only when you’re in agony do you take action? I appreciate that not everyone has the budget for weekly or even monthly massages but what I say to a lot of my clients is to not wait until their problem gets bad again. As soon as they begin to feel that twinge or pain then pick up the phone and book an appointment. Inevitably  leaving the problem to get worse may cost you more in the long run with then having to have weekly appointments and even a referral to the Doctor or an Osteopath. How’s that back feeling?

 

Can massage improve post-workout recovery?

Have you ever thought about getting a massage to improve your post-workout recovery? massage improves post-workout recoveryDo you dread that sore feeling (delayed on-set muscle soreness or DOMS) for a couple of days after a session in the gym or having just finished a long bike ride?

Massage is widely used by athletes and professional sports people for a variety of purposes such as injury prevention, recovery from fatigue, relaxation, and to increase performance. But you don’t have to workout like an athlete to feel these benefits of a post-workout massage. Here are some points to consider that could help your body recover quicker:

  • Massage improves circulation and therefore brings nutrients to the muscles and maximises the flow of oxygen to the cells which is essential for the body to repair itself.
  • Massage can help improve the range of motion of your joints and improve flexibility or your muscles.
  • Massage can help eliminate toxins in the muscles that build up during exercise therefore the recovery time is shortened.
  • The fascia or connective tissue which surrounds muscles and is superficial and deep in our bodies, can have restrictions too and therefore by massaging and ‘stretching’ this connective tissue, this can also improve circulation and loosen tight muscles.

If you have recently taken up a sport or started a regular fitness regime, then consider a massage as part of your health goals and prevent that all too familiar stiffness for days after your activity. Think of massage as a preventative measure rather than when injured and this will ensure a much healthier and productive fitness regime. Happy exercising!