Massage and stretching are both recommended for muscle recovery. But how do they relate to one another? Which one works best and when?
Massage therapy is the manipulation of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue.
· Promotes faster healing of strained muscles
· Reduces swelling and the formation of scar tissue
· Relieves stiffness and tension of muscles
· Helps rehabilitate injuries
· Reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue
Stretching works to counteract tightness and tension built up in muscles that have been working. Stretching while moving or holding a stretch increases blood flow and range of motion, which helps joints stay aligned and muscles to move more effectively.
Stretching and massage work together to keep your muscles flexible and feeling great, this is especially true as we age! Daily stretching to the point of feeling a slight strain will increase your flexibility in just a few weeks. Regular massage helps to keep your body relaxed and flexible. Massage can also release trigger points and muscles in spasm, making your stretching routine even more effective.
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Many people get a massage to relax and reduce their stress caused by daily life, but massages aren’t just great for relaxation. They also help to relieve the symptoms of many medical and lifestyle conditions. Here are just a few ways massage can help you and improve your health!
Massage therapy helps people with a variety of physical problems. By relieving muscle tension, nerve compression and increasing joint space people generally report reduced pain and increased range of motion.
Massage also increases circulation! Your entire body needs oxygen and nutrients but it’s important that the oxygen can get to your muscles. If enough oxygen doesn’t get to your muscles, you’ll start to experience some muscle pain, tightness and cramps. The circulatory effects of getting a massage may also even help inflammation problems you may have, such as arthritis or edema.
Massage is a wonderfully relaxing experience. While providing relaxation, it can also lower the heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. Not only that, but it boosts the immune system, and decreases the physical and even the mental toll of ongoing stress.
It is important that you know what type of massage you should get for a health issue. Be sure to tell your therapist about your health goals to get the best type of massage and a treatment plan specific to your needs!
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Having a good stretch once or twice a day feels good and can help prevent injuries (flexible muscles can do more), improve your posture (and as a result help with back pain), increase blood and nutrients to your muscles, and help you to feel less stressed.
Here's what I do:
Other Quick Stretches (you can do these at your desk)
I bet you are feeling better already!
Also check out You Tube for some quick stretching routines:
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If you are not extremely busy in today’s society, you are the exception and not the rule. We are all in high gear; we overextend, overachieve, and over-stress ourselves to the point of breaking. This can have lasting negative effects on our health! Here are a few ways to break the cycle:
It is so easy to be upset when things do not go our way. From the moment we spill our coffee, lock our keys in the car, and forget our lunch, a spiral of circumstances can set us off into a tailspin of negativity. We can choose to stay in a state of discontent and let that dictate our day, or we can be grateful for the other things in our lives even if they are not present in front of us right now. Did you ever notice that when something nice happens, we tend to smile for a moment and then move on? However, when something goes wrong, we feel the need to tell everyone and anyone that will listen. It is in those exact moments that we need to focus on what we are grateful for, and that is how we can instantly change our perspective and attitude. Choose to do something nice for someone else and see how this changes how you feel. Keeping the focus on gratitude offers your mind something to smile about, regardless of outside circumstances. Focusing on people, places, and even things that make you grateful, gives your mind a break from stress!
Everyone has a busy schedule; that is a fact. We all tend to create schedules that are overflowing and then complain that we do not have time for ourselves! Take a good hard look at your schedule and see what you can delete and what you can delegate. If you are going to have a healthy mind, you need to take care of it just as you would your body, and that means giving it some rest. One tip for quieting your mind is to put it on your schedule. Put it in big red pen on your calendar, text yourself a reminder, and place it on your list of things to do this week. For some it might be getting a massage, trying a new meditation class or just going for a walk by yourself and being in nature. Whatever feels best for you, Do That. Take time for you.
Stay in the Moment
Being in the moment has become a cliché; however, if you really take the time to focus on what it means, you can start to practice quietening your mind. Focus on what you are doing at the exact moment you are doing it. If you are washing a dish focus on the water, the soap bubbles and the dish in your hand. For others it may be breathing techniques, meditation or prayer time. When you take time to do this, you will be in the moment and not two days from now when something big is scheduled.
To schedule an appointment and take some time for you, call the office 952-443-3710 or click here to request your next massage session http://www.berelaxedmn.com/schedule-here.html
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Every Day! Well, maybe that’s not practical, even though it would be nice. This is one of the most common questions clients ask about massage therapy, and it really all depends on WHY you get massages. Do you get massages for health benefits? Or, to help you relax and handle the stress of everyday life? Most likely it’s a combination of the two, so let’s look at some of the most common reasons to get regular massages:
Relaxation & Stress Relief
One of the very best reasons to get a massage is for relaxation. Relaxation massage helps to support your body, including blood circulation and flexibility of joints. Regular massage can help prevent pain, muscle tension, and stress points from building up and causing problems. Why wait until you have a problem to get a massage? Massage is perfect for preventing issues with your tissues. Relaxation massage is usually recommended at least once per month, or as often as you want!
There may be times in your life where you experience higher levels of stress and more muscle tension than normal. It is especially important to practice good self-care during these times. When we “don’t have time” for a massage, is usually when we need one the most. Make yourself a priority even during stressful times, your health is worth it.
If you are in a high-stress job or you work in an environment where you stay in a certain position for a long period of time (at a computer for example), you may begin to develop tight or “knotted” muscles. This will frequently occur in your shoulders, arms, and back. All of this increased muscle tension will make movement harder and can cause a great deal of pain. Regular massage can help to keep you loosened up and will help to prevent pain and stiffness.
Living with high levels of stress for a prolonged amount of time increases the risk of contracting heart disease and other diseases. It has been estimated that 75 – 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. The good news is, massage can help! Just knowing your massage is coming up in a few days can help to relieve stress, and a massage every 2-4 weeks will help with stress related tension.
Are you a weekend warrior, or do you just like to stay in shape? Either way, massage can help with sports performance and recovery. Many athletes and physically active people receive sports massage because it enhances their performance, prevents injury, and speeds up their muscles' recovery. Competitive sports can put a lot of stress on a person's muscles! Research conducted at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging at McMaster University in Ontario shows that massage reduces inflammation and stimulates the growth of new mitochondria, the energy-producing units in the cells, after strenuous exercise. This means that massage can help relieve pain, build muscles and help with muscle recovery too! For these benefits it is recommended that you get a massage up to three times a week or at least three times a month.
Chronic Health Conditions
People with ongoing health issues often find massage very helpful to alleviate symptoms. Chronic health problems that greatly benefit from massage therapy include back pain, joint pain, and localized inflammation. If you get therapy for specific issues, the frequency of getting massage therapy varies with the type of condition you have and how severe it is. Relief from pain can usually be achieved with 2-4 massage sessions per month. Your massage therapist will work with you to help you get on the best schedule for your body.
Pregnant women can greatly benefit from massage therapy! Prenatal massage and is popular among expectant mothers, who often experience a lot of aches and pains as their pregnancy progresses. Many women suffer from back pain, hip & sciatic pain, headaches, and tired legs & feet. But you don’t have to, a certified massage therapist can help to relieve those discomforts.
Going to your massage therapist once or twice a month can help with the symptoms caused by pregnancy, and it can even help you sleep better. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor and your massage therapist to ensure that you don’t have any pregnancy related conditions that would contraindicate massage therapy for you. Most women experiencing a healthy pregnancy can and should enjoy regular massage sessions.
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