Which is better...Massage or Stretching?
Massage and stretching are both really helpful ways to keep your muscles relaxed, reduce tension and of course, help recovery after an injury. Stretching helps to get the blood flowing to your muscles, which is great if you've injured yourself, or if your muscles are stiff because they've contracted due to inactivity.
Giving your muscles a really good stretch can stop your muscles from going into painful spasms or cramps, and stop the knots forming in them that take so much work to get rid of when you have a massage!
Regular massage on the other hand improves flexibility range of motion, keeping your joints more fluid and making them less injury prone in the first place.
What are the differences between massage and stretches - and how do they work together to promote muscle and joint health?
What is massage? Well, stripped right down, massage is simply a word that is used to descrube the manipulation of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue. Of course, there are lots of different types of massage, and techniques that are suitable for different things, but when you go for a massage, this is what your therapist will be doing.
WHAT'S A MASSAGE GOOD FOR?
We love a massage for general wellbeing, but medically massage is recognized for more than just making you feel good.
* Help strained muscles to heal faster
* Reduce swelling and scar tissue if you are injured
* Relieve stiffness and tension in your muscles
* Reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and fatigue
Stretching does have a lot of similarities to massage, but its main benefit is to relieve the tightness and tension that's built up in your muscles when you've used (and over-used) them.
Having a really good, effective stretch can increase the blood flow to your muscles, and this leads to a better range of motion that helps your joints to stay in alignment.
WHAT'S STRETCHING GOOD FOR?
Stretching properly can:
* Improve your circulation
* Boost your nerve health - a contracted muscle around a nerve can create pressure that can
constrict the blood supply to the nerve
* Make movement easier
* Improve flexibility
Did you know that we offer sessions just for stretching? Stretching sessions are designed based on the client's individual needs. Stretching sessions are offered in 15 minute increments at $15 per increment. Come on in and schedule your stretching routine twice a week, 15 min each session for $30 a week. Stretching is a great way to keep up your massage benefits between sessions.
HOW CAN MASSAGE AND A STRETCHING ROUTINE WORK TOGETHER?
Daily stretching - to a point where you can just feel it pulling on your muscles - can really help to increase your flexibility, and you can feel the effects in a matter of a few weeks.
Enjoying a regular massage (regular typically refers to a full body 70 min, once every 4-6 weeks) helps to keep your body relaxed and flexible. Massage can release trigger points and muscles in spasm, making your stretching routine even more effective.
While most of our Clinical (and all of our Sports) Massages include some kind of stretching to the areas that need specific attention, you can ask your massage therapist to include stretching of certain areas in your Infinity Classic Massage as well. You can even add extra time to your massage session to allow for strictly stretching at the end of your session. That way, you don't feel like you are losing out on your massage time...none of us want to lose out on that precious massage time! By doing something like that, an all in one session, it gives your muscles and tendons a really thorough workout. You can also ask your massage therapist for advice if you have any injuries or are experiencing stiffness in your muscles.