We often think of professional, therapeutic massage as a special treat—something that we allow ourselves to receive only when we either desperately need it or come to deserve it through hard work or accomplishment. As a result, though we strive to make healthy eating, physical activity, and visits to dental and health professionals fixtures in our lives, we nevertheless overlook the necessity and numerous health benefits of regular massages. Routine massages aid in the well-being and success of the active, the recovering, and—to put it simply—all the rest!
Whether you are an Olympic athlete or a fitness newbie, regular massages can help you to make the most of your workouts and improve your performance. Massage aids the body’s circulation, which allows the blood to more effectively deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Your muscles then use those nutrients to build healthy and strong tissue, thereby continuing the work of your workout, speeding up your muscular recovery, and enhancing your muscle tone. The circulatory benefits of massage also apply to the lymphatic system, which, upon stimulation by massage, breaks down the buildup of lactic acid that results from an intense workout. If you practice yoga, massage can improve your performance by elongating chronically contracted muscles and improving your joints’ range of motion. Furthermore, by adding massage to your fitness routine, you lower your risk of suffering from future muscular tears, tendonitis, and sprains.
Massage can also aid in the weight-loss process. While your workout burns fat, massage aids in the body’s absorption of it. Additionally, massage lowers the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. When the body is stressed, it stores extra calories. The relief of stress, therefore, tells the body to discontinue the calorie-storing process.
The more often you work out, the more often you should see your massage therapist. Schedule two massages into a week with five or more workout sessions and one into a week with four or fewer. Your massages can take place either before or after your workout. Pre-workout massages, when received within an hour before exercise, carry the added benefit of waking up your muscles in preparation for physical activity.
If you’re a bit off your game due to an operation or injury, massage can do wonders for your recovery. When used in tandem with physical therapy, massage can help you get back to normal as quickly and easily as possible. After a physical therapy session, massage recuperates sore muscles, better preparing your body for more therapy. A relaxing massage promotes muscular healing and elasticity, in addition to improving range of motion in joints. Additionally, massage relieves stress and mental fatigue, which often accompany surgery, injury, and the physical therapy that follow. A rested mind is just as important as a rested body is to physical healing. Before scheduling massages into your physical therapy routine, check with your doctor to make sure that massage is the right choice for you.
Perhaps your daily routine is full of meetings, travel, childcare, or other tasks, and you don’t exactly have a fitness routine, nor are you in the process of physical therapy. Massage is perfect for you, too! By now, you’ve read that massage aids in stress relief, circulation, flexibility, and healing—all of which are benefits that you don’t have to be an athlete or a physical therapy patient to receive from massage. Yet in addition to these, massage promotes creativity and alertness (which can make the workday a little bit more productive). It also improves posture (which leads to better breathing practices and improved self-confidence), strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and improves your mood through the release of endorphins into the blood stream. Additionally, regular massages stop minor skeletomuscular injuries from escalating into physical conditions that inhibit mobility or flexibility later in life, and in doing so save you from the cost of prescription drugs, visits to the doctor, and surgeries.
It is likely that we think of massage as a “treat,” because it feels like an indulgence. Indeed, massage is one of the few physical pleasures in life that is also entirely healthy. Make treating your mind and body a habit by incorporating massage into your weekly or monthly routine.
Elements Massage offers a variety of appointment times to make scheduling massages easy. Start your relaxing routine by calling (480) 401-1400.