Tuesday, 9 October 2012

How to get the best out of your treatment

I'm often asked how best to look after your body inbetween treatments and how best to extend the benefits of the treatment.

The important thing to remember is despite how wonderful massage is and how great it is at loosening up the muscles, if you want to get your body back in to its best possible shape, you can't rely just on massage, you need to consider improving body and mind, through a variety of different methods.

Without a doubt, one of the best things you can do for yourself is Stretch, Stretch, Stretch!  Stretching is so beneficial for you and when we sit infront of computers all day and don't do much physical activity, it can leave us stiff and not fully utilising our muscles.  They become more rigid and by carrying out a regular stretching routine it can help keep the body looser and give a greater range of motion.

Whether you attend pilates classes, yoga classes or have your own stretching routine, you can really look after yourself through stretching as it helps stretch out the tight muscles and give movements to the muscles that remain in stiff positions through out the day.  By combining  a stretching routine with massage you enable your muscles to be loosened up through the massage so that you can go on to get a greater stretch out of them, enabling the muscles to be stretched further than they previously had been which in turn can help them stay looser for longer.

Often people say to me that they try stretching but they feel they can't stretch any further as there is something stopping them, i.e, the muscle is tight.  By having a massage it loosens up those tight muscles in preperation for the stretching work.  I often recommend clients do some light stretching after a massage as the muscles as this is the best possible time to get the most out of your stretching.  The muscles are looser so you can really get that stretch which increases range of motion.

Another great way of enhancing the benefits of the treatment is to apply heat to the tight areas, through means such as deep heat and wheat bags.  These enable heat to get to the area, breaking down the tension by getting circulation to the area.  This helps enhance a treatment because it enables less build up of tension inbetween treatments so that when you have your treatment we can really get working on that deep muscle tension.  By encouraging circulation to the area, it helps provide oxygen to the muscles and enables the flushing away of those waste products.

One of the best ways you can deal with muscle tension is to work on how you deal with stress.  If you run round like a headless chicken, get worked up over everything, you might tend to carry a lot of tension in those shoulders!  By looking at ways you can become more in tune with your body and reduce those stress levels, you can help reduce the muscle tension and help enhance your treatment.  Different ways this can be done could be through setting aside time to listen to relaxing music, spending time outdoors, having hot relaxing baths (helps the muscles too!) or perhaps taking part in a sport which can help you get rid of the stress and anxiety.

Looking after yourself, eating the right foods and exercising can all help keep your system in good shape which helps to break down that muscle tension.  It keeps your system healthy so that its not sluggish and so waste products get flushed out of the body quicker and doesn't build up as tension as much.  Exercising such as swimming and walking are especially good low impact exercise.  However, just keeping active is all good for keeping those muscles working.

So, if you want to get the most out of your treatment, perhaps its a case of realising you have to change body and mind and play an active part in helping to get your body in good shape where the muscles are healthier and happier:-)

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