Having a massage is only part of the treatment and if you want to get the full benefit not only from your treatment but from your own body and to get yourself in the best possible shape you can do, then it's important to think about stretching and strengthening.
Stretching is so important to the body it can help alleviate tension, open up the chest and the back and release all those muscles that have been held in tight and restrictive positions through action such as driving, sitting in front of the computer and sat watching television. This summer may be a wash out but that is no excuse for just sitting around!
Stretching only needs to take a few minutes if that and if you can carry out simple stretches through out the day then you are working on constantly freeing up the body and allowing more movement and for the blood to flow.
The body can become stuck in positions and how many of us are guilty of ending or even starting a day with our shoulders up around our ears, yet simple shrugging techniques or rolling the shoulder blades backwards and forwards can warm our body up for the day ahead and leave us more relaxed and less tense than we originally were.
Classes such as pilates and yoga can be fantastic for the body and they say that within a few sessions of pilates you can really feel the difference within your body. Pilates is especially good as it strengthens your core muscles known as the power house which in turn helps to support the back by strengthening the stomach and glutes. I've been going to pilates for only a short time now but am realising why it is good for me and why i shouldn't have put it off for so long. It has made me much more body aware and is showing how i was tight in muscles that i never knew i was.
However you don't need to attend a class to benefit from stretching, just a few minutes each day perhaps whilst you wait for the kettle to boil on a morning, can warm up the body and loosen up those stiff muscles meaning they are carrying less tension.
At the Drift Away website there is a page dedicated to stretching and these are by no means the only ones to do, there are many out there and just looking on the internet, or doing a stretching dvd or joining a class will provide you with many more.
Don't forget that to get the most from your treatment, you need to think about what you are doing in between treatments and how your helping yourself and you can help yourself by stretching:-)
Here is a link to the Drift Away page for stretching. http://www.driftawaytherapies.co.uk/driftawaystretching.html
Here is a link to Judy Gill Dougherty who does a great stretching or one to one class.
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