The Power of Prevention
You’ve probably heard me mention time and time again that prevention is the best cure and I am sure I sound like a broken record. However, with this current climate, there is no better time to discuss how massage can prevent poor injuries or getting unwell physically, emotionally and mentally.
Most commonly, clients book a massage when they are experiencing pain, are overstressed or have twinge a muscle due to extreme tightness. My goal is to create awareness of the benefits of massage and empower people to have a preventative mindset towards health. Firstly, I am going to dissect massage into 4 main sections.
- Physical Benefits
- Mental Benefits
- Emotional Benefits.
- Lastly, I am going to go into more detail around how massage contributes to enhance immunity and how it improves what we can’t necessarily physically feel directly.
During exercise we create tension through shortening our muscles called “concentric movements” A simple example is a bicep curl. As we curl the dumbbell towards our bicep, we are shortening the muscle in order to lift the weight. This occurs throughout our body with a wide range of movements. Once the muscles are shortened, we then need to stretch it out in order to lengthen the muscle back to normal length to prevent injury. If we were to keep the bicep in a concentric state, when we perform a simple day to day movement like reaching for something, we will not have a good range of movement and the likelihood of us tearing the muscle becomes high. Therefore, sports and deep tissue massage is an essential injury prevention tool that improves flexibility and mobility throughout our joints, due to lengthen muscles.
Muscles knots – Muscle knots occur through a build up of muscle fibres within the muscle after use. They can be uncomfortable, painful and restrict movement, which can result in injury through not being able to move the muscle correctly or adapting the exercise and engaging other muscles that are perhaps not as strong. During massage the Massage Therapist can work out the knots using various techniques or make it a lot smaller for it to disperse itself. You will feel an amazing amount of relief once the knot has been worked on.
If an injury has occurred massage increases blood flow, which will target the injury and start the healing process
Mental health is described as being our ability to process information. Massage is essential when it comes to our mental clarity. Not only for athletes, but for the everyday person. Each day we process large amounts of information, which takes a toll and becomes overwhelming. During massage we give ourselves permission to lie within our thoughts without being distracted by anything. Massage is a sensory stimulation that releases chemicals into our body which allows our mind to relax and in turn focus mentally. Having a relaxed mental state decreases our stress levels and promotes overall health. From a sporting perspective there’s a certain amount of mental stillness one needs to have in order to perform at their best and focus. Massage therefore will be a positive tool to achieve results.
Emotional health is described as being our ability to express feelings, based on information you have received. Since ancient times massage has been used to promote emotional healing. Massage allows us to take time for ourselves, it’s a promotion of self-care and encourages us to be vulnerable. Now more than ever we have a lot of pressures in life and with the current climate we are all in limbo with our work, families, health and lack of control. This has naturally caused us to have added emotional stress. By taking the time for a massage you are taking care of your body and mind and allowing your mind to rest and focus solely on the massage treatment. Studies have described that certain areas of the body hold emotions, for example, “hips hold anger” and once the hips are released the anger decreases. People have described feeling “emotionally lighter” as they leave the room.
Now more than ever we need to focus on our immunity. Massage decreases our stress hormone, cortisol. When cortisol is high it supresses our immune system and we often pick up viruses or colds during that time. White blood cells defend the body from disease, and they increase during massage. High levels of inflammation in the body are known to be associated with depression, cardiovascular disease and asthma, massage lowers the inflammation in our body. As you can see, massage plays a huge part in terms of our immunity.
If you have any questions on this please send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 5761860.
“Prevention is the biggest cure”
Written by Elly Hunt – Massage Therapist