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Do I need to do the range of motion homework I get from my massage therapist?

Elements Therapeutic Massage in Brentwood Oct 11, 2013

Excellent question!

Muscles are an amazing set of tissue.  They work in very specific ways.  One of the ways that we know muscles work is that they have 'memory' and will hold the position that they find themselves in most frequently.  So if your massage therapist is trying to correct something that is causing you pain, you will need to do several things to help retrain those faulty muscle memories.

  • Change the position you are in that is causing you the trouble.  Some of the time this is a work related issue, and we simply can't change what it is we do.  For example, if you work at a desk, and you have wrist or forearm trouble, you will have to continue to type, but modifiy your position and watch your posture when possible.
  • Get a regular massage.  The effect of a massage on muscle tissue lasts about three days.  So if you want to use massage to fix the problem without the hassle of homework, you will need to get a massage at least every three days.  This allows for the retraining of those muscles so they do not cause pain.  Most folks can't afford a massage 2-3 times a week. So the Massage Therapist sends the client home with range of motion exercises to help retrain those muscles outside of the massage room.
  • Range of Motion work helps remind the muscles that there is a wide variety of movements they are supposed to be doing, and not just the ones that we have them do on a regular basis.  These exercises help stretch the muscle and maintain muscle health.  It allows you to last from one massage to the next with a minimum of pain.  

If you want to be healthy, you have to work at it.  Your body requires love and attention just like every relationship.  Give to yourself just as much as you give to others.  It will help keep your body in tip top shape and pain free!

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