Stretching and Massage
- Increases Range of motion
- Improve posture
- Improve circulation
- Reduce stress and increase relaxation
What does stretching have to do with massage?
You may have noticed that the benefits of stretching and the benefits of massage are actually quite similar. A massage (especially deep tissue massage) increases circulation and mobility, helps with pain management, can improve muscle aches and headaches, decrease stress, and promote relaxation. A regular stretching routine can promote health and wellness in all of these areas as well! Stretching following your massage appointment can maximize and prolong the benefits of your massage. Not only are the goals and outcomes similar, but a massage performed by an expert massage therapist at your local Idaho Fall spa will loosen and pull tissues and muscles away from each other. This is one of the reasons for feeling mobile or extra loose after a massage. This can also make stretching easier, therefore increasing your tolerance for stretching exercises. All of these factors mean that an ideal time to stretch is right after your appointment at Massage Idaho Falls. A regular massage and stretching routine complement each other perfectly. It only takes a few minutes. Give it a try!
How do I start?
There are many stretches you can do and you can find a lot of instruction and information from your doctor or physical therapist, and from your Idaho Falls massage therapist. Here are a couple simple stretches that are ideal following your next appointment.
In this stretch you are simply folding your body very gradually, beginning from a standing position. Begin to slowly bend your neck, and then visualize yourself rolling down slowly until you are bent at the waist with your arms hanging over your head, pointing at the floor. Do not strain to touch the floor. Just let the force of gravity on your dangling arms and shoulders and up through your spin, slowly stretch you. Some people like to sway a bit to aid in relaxing and releasing tense muscles. After 30 seconds or so, roll your body back up in the same way, with your head and neck finally upright and squared on your shoulders. Remember not to lock your knees! Keep a slightly bent knee and remember to go slow. This is a wonderful stretch for back, neck, shoulders, and hamstrings. Repeat this stretch 3 to 5 times.
The stretching cat
In this stretch you will begin on your hands and knees. Picture a cat getting up from a nap stretching and arching their back! This will be similar. Be sure you begin with your back horizontal. You can picture lining your spine up with the floor. Slowly exhale as you relax your back and let it sink down. It may help to imagine a string on your belly button being gently tugged towards the floor. This will stretch your head and your tail up towards the ceiling. Stretch them up as your back sinks down. Hold for 30 seconds, and then reverse movement. Inhale as you curve your back up towards the ceiling and curl your head and tail inward. You will want to do this one a few times. Then you will want to take a nap. It’s that good!
A few precautions
If you are in great pain or you know or suspect you may have fractures or severe muscle or joint sprains, please consult your doctor before doing any new exercise, including stretches. It is also important to keep in mind that you should never push your body beyond the level of movement that is comfortable. This is a process, and you will naturally increase your range of motion over time. Avoid bouncing as a method of increasing your range. Just relax into the stretch and hold it for 30 seconds.
Stretching and massage complement each other perfectly. Keep that in mind next time you enjoy an Idaho Falls massage!