Flexibility is an important part of athletic performance, but it can also aid you with everyday activities and retaining your mobility as you age. Performing regular stretches is one way to improve your flexibility over time. Massage can also help to boost your flexibility as the techniques used help to make your muscles more supple and reduce tension in them.
Since they both aid your flexibility, stretching and massage go hand in hand. Stretching can help you get the most out of your massage treatment and, together, they can greatly improve your mobility and flexibility.
Stretching before a massage
Like massage, stretching helps to boost circulation. This means that more blood is delivered to your muscles, along with all the beneficial nutrients it carries. This is especially useful if you are having a massage intended to speed up recovery after an injury or a tough workout. Stretching will also start to relax your muscles, ensuring they are ready for massage.
Your back, legs, and hips are a few areas you should focus on during your pre-massage stretches. Simple lengthening stretches like touching your toes will help to stretch out your muscles, relax them, and get the blood pumping to them.
Stretching after a massage
Just like stretching after a run or a workout, stretching after a massage has a number of benefits. It’s common to feel a little sore after a massage, either that evening or the next day. Stretching can help to reduce or prevent this soreness, as can other remedies like taking a hot bath after a massage. If you had a massage to treat soreness or injury, then stretching afterward will further help to speed up your recovery time.
Stretching your muscles also helps to boost the effects of the massage and maintain them for longer, particularly in terms of relaxation and flexibility of your muscles. Hamstring stretches like touching your toes while standing or sitting are beneficial, as are stretches for the lower leg like the standing calf stretch.
Stretches for the spine and back muscles are also advised. Try the cat-cow yoga pose or a knee hold where you lie flat on your back and hug your knees close to your chest. In the same way, activities like yoga and Pilates are greatly complementary to regular massage therapy.
If you’d like more advice on boosting the benefits of your massage treatments, then contact Moonstone Massage for more information or to find out about our massage services.