Flexibility is important for more than just gymnasts. Any kind of physical activity is easier to perform when you’re a little more flexible. Yoga, gardening, and even sweeping the kitchen requires your body to bend and move with ease. Sometimes, simple activities might even hurt if you’re muscles feel a bit too stiff.
If you’re not as flexible as you’d like to be, you’ve probably tried stretching. Stretching is important – you should use stretches as a warmup before you’re about to get active. But stretching doesn’t do half as much for muscle flexibility as a great massage.
Tension Can Lead To Workout Injury
Muscle tension often leads to workout injuries. That’s why so many people hit the gym once, come home feeling worse, and postpone their fitness goals. Aches and pains make the experience unpleasant – who would want to go back to the gym if they felt worse when they left?
Prolonged periods of inactivity overuse of a particular muscle group, inflammation, or preexisting injuries can make muscles unwilling to cooperate. They get stiff or retain metabolic byproducts created by the body, making them difficult to use. Reduced flexibility is a common consequence for people in Tucson dealing with these issues.
How Massage Makes Muscles Loose And Limber
The owner of Greentoes, Victor Thompson states, “Massage stimulates the muscles and improves circulation. Muscles that haven’t been used in a while, muscles that have been overused in a short period of time, muscles that have become inflamed, and injured muscles benefit from massage.”
Massage introduces oxygen rich blood to muscle tissue, supplying the muscle with the nutrients it needs to heal and fortify itself. The act of massage pushes out any retained fluid and breaks down scar tissue that might exist around a muscular injury. This will eliminate barriers between your muscles and their full range of motion.
Some of the healing effects of a massage will be apparent as soon as the massage is finished. The rest of the effects may slowly come over the next few days. Since the endorphins released during a massage make it easy to get a great night’s sleep, your body will continue to heal while you’re at rest. Within a few days, you’ll be able to get back to your favorite forms of physical activity, and because your muscles are nice and healthy, you’ll notice an improvement in your flexibility and range of motion.
Massage Techniques To Improve Flexibility
There are so many styles of massage, and each one is used for a different purpose. Some are for general relaxation, and others are designed to treat specific sources of muscular discomfort that a patient might feel.
“Athletic massage is a great option to improve flexibility in patients with athletic injuries or overuse injuries. Athletic massages specifically target the muscle groups most used by the athlete. Runners, for example, typically want to focus on the muscles and joints in their legs. Specific techniques will vary from patient to patient and injury to injury – no two people are ever exactly the same,” says Victor.
Deep tissue massages often benefit people who experience reduced flexibility. By targeting the entirety of the muscle and all of its connective tissue, the stimulation is thorough enough to make a vastly noticeable difference. The increased blood flow that occurs during a deep tissue massage will often warm the muscle up. This warmth causes tension within the muscle to ease as the tissue naturally expands with the heat. Many people will immediately feel the benefits of a deep tissue massage.
The main focus of massage for improved flexibility is an occurrence called myofascial release. Myofascial release is when soft tissue and muscle fascia that has tightened or hardened is stimulated to loosen its hold. Any massage technique that focuses on myofascial release will be effective.
Regular Massage Can Make Your Workouts Better
One massage can make you feel great in the moment, but a series of ongoing massages will keep you feeling great. Scheduling regular massages is kind of like preventative maintenance – you wouldn’t wait until your car could barely get out of the driveway to change the oil, and you shouldn’t wait until you’re so stiff you can hardly move to make a massage appointment.
Massage can deal with small issues as they arise, reducing the potential for decreased flexibility and muscular injury. Your massage therapist will be able to tell you how often you should schedule massages based on the state of your muscles and your level of activity.
Let’s Help You Get Flexible
Our experienced massage therapists in Tucson know how to help you regain flexibility. Whether you’re a ballet dancer with stiffness or an occasional gym goer having trouble lifting with your legs, massage might be the perfect solution for you. You can book your first appointment with us online. Come and find your calm at Greentoes in Tucson, AZ. We would love to see you!