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Benefits Of Soft Tissue Therapy

 

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No matter what you do in life, there will always be aches and pains. Whether from daily stresses or from exercising hard, there will always be a time when some movements feel uncomfortable and when muscles and joints hurt. As a guide, if you push into a muscle with the palm of your hand and it hurts, then you should seek out some treatment!

Massage and soft tissue therapies will help you maintain your body by helping with:

Pain reduction: Through relaxation of muscles and taking tension out of areas that get tight through stress. As we go through the day, the weight of our head moves further forward from looking down at things such as computers and phones. This increases the force exerted, essentially making the head go from weighing 11lbs up to 60lbs. Studies have shown treating the upper shoulders, neck and back reduces pain sensitivity in the legs and arms. The heat and pressure from massage strokes causes a physiological response encouraging the tissues in the body to relax and soften.

Aiding recovery from exercise:  Your muscles only get stronger in the recovery phase! Working out stresses them and in response your body builds better muscles when you recover. If you don’t recover enough, you will not get stronger. Massage increases blood flow to the muscles, providing them with more nutrients and removing de-oxygenated blood and muscle waste that would hinder your body’s natural recovery process. The natural relaxation effects also aid your body in resting, speeding up the process altogether.  This also helps to reduce the chances of over-use injuries from micro-trauma and over-training.

Improving muscle strength and performance:  When your body is recovering from exercise, it will sometimes lay down new tissues that do not align to the direction of the muscle fibres. This reduces the strength and flexibility of the muscle as fluids and stresses do not pass through the randomly laid fibres. Massage strokes encourage alignment of these tissues and reinforce drainage of liquids such as lymphatic fluid and blood. This gives you a more compliant muscle which deals with strain better and has more flexibility.

Recovery from injuries:  As we work out and tissues get damaged, their recovery depends on the circulation of blood providing nutrients and removing damaged tissues and waste products.  Massage aids circulation; the release of restrictions in muscles, such as scar tissue and aligning tissues, also improves the way they deal with movement. This also helps to reduce the effect of over-training and stops micro-trauma from spreading through muscle fibres. This allows you to heal faster and train more! Relaxing the muscles is also useful to recover from whiplash injuries as it lets your body assess the relationship between pain and movement, letting you move further with less pain.

Improving general movement and body awareness: Massage will highlight which areas are damaged or overworked; usually the painful areas are caused by restrictions elsewhere. A weak core will cause problems elsewhere in the body, but you may only find that you notice your core when the muscles supporting pelvic alignment are treated. The same goes for someone who feels they have hamstring issues, when in reality it is a problem stemming from the quadriceps. Massage highlights to both the practitioner and the client which areas are the ones that need treatment and which areas need strengthening. Releasing tension on the muscles also helps to keep your bones and joints in better alignment; this in turn aids your posture and range of movement in daily life and exercise activities.

This makes massage a useful aid to exercise and, along with treatments like physiotherapy, it can become a complimentary tool that will help you perform better, recover quicker and keep in top shape! It can also be used to deal with stress caused from other conditions and daily life. While it may not be a treatment for everything out there, there are plenty of benefits to having soft tissue therapy as often as possible!

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