Did you know that muscle injuries are more common today than they were fifty years ago? Unfortunately, this is not because more people are taking up kickboxing or marathon running –it’s because more of us live a sedentary lifestyle. Office jobs, school, administrative work, driving and the ever present television and video games temptation keep us rooted in one place for longer periods of time than ever before. The population on average is also growing older as baby boomers move into retirement, and as we age our muscles tighten, which makes injury likelier still. What can be done to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of sustaining injury? Luckily, one answer to this question is not only incredibly beneficial, but it feels great: Go get a massage!
Massage has been shown to be an effective way to improve and maintain muscular flexibility and range of motion. Massage therapy’s holistic approach to the body means that muscles are not worked on in isolation – they are viewed as part of the connected whole they truly are with muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissues all given attention. The deep, rhythmic strokes utilized by the therapists helps ease the tightness in these tissues and improve flexibility by relaxing the muscles, improving blood flow, and releasing tension.
Of course, weekly or monthly massage therapy is not adequate to completely stave off the risk of injury caused by muscle and joint tightness. Daily stretching and exercises are an integral part of this fitness program. Stretching every day will help keep muscles and joints loose and blood flowing, while exercise will improve muscles strength and overall health. But making massage therapy a part of this routine will only bolster the progress you see. Therapeutic massage will make stretching easier, help muscles recover after a workout, and keep everything relaxed so the exercises you incorporate will be even more effective