Massage, for some, can feel like a bit of an indulgence. But did you know a massage has huge health benefits and is much more than a luxurious treat? It also perfectly complements physio. In the same way that we may recommend Pilates, acupuncture or shockwave therapy alongside your physiotherapy regime, massage can be the perfect addition to maximise your fitness.
So, what are some of the signs you’d benefit from massage? Here’s our lowdown on how massage can help and the cues to look out for:
- You’re in pain
If you’re experiencing tenderness from sore muscles or aches from stiffness or overuse, a massage could be what you need. Massage works to alleviate pain through manipulation of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia and just a short session can make an immediate difference to your levels of discomfort. It’s non-intrusive and can be used on just about any part of the body, so don’t discount massage for your problem before speaking to a professional.
2. You feel tense
One of the most common reasons people book a massage is because they feel tense. Our muscles can get tight when we forget to relax, and a massage therapist will work on releasing tension from the soft tissue in any problem areas. They’re also skilled in finding areas of tension and knots, and while sometimes a little uncomfortable, the relief that can be experienced following a massage is well worth it.
3. You’re in training
Sports massage is a really important part of any training schedule. Depending on your level of training and what you’re aiming to achieve, your massage therapist may focus on a particular area, or your body as a whole. Not only will sports massage help with the aches and pains following a training session it’ll reenergise you, assist healing and the prevention of any injuries. It’ll loosen knots, allow you to maintain and increase flexibility and will also improve blood flow and prevent the build-up of lactic acid. Simply put, sports massage will help you to reach your training goals quicker.
4. You have headaches
Closely linked to point 2 on feeling tense, many people who experience a lot of headaches can benefit from massage. There are many types and causes of headaches but if you think yours could be a tension headache (typically described as a feeling of pressure or a tight band squeezing your head), then a massage to relax muscles in your neck, head and shoulders can make a world of difference.
5. You can’t sleep
Massage promotes a feeling of relaxation and well-being, so it’s definitely worth considering if you’re suffering with anxiety and/or finding it hard to sleep. Today’s lifestyles are hectic, and people can find It difficult to switch off but booking a massage rewards you with some time out to lie still and relax. Many people describe feeling as though they’re ‘walking on air’ after a massage session and that’s likely to be because massage can trigger the production of serotonin, which is needed for helping us feel calm, content…and for combating things like insomnia.
6. You sit still for long periods
With many of us spending hours a day hunched over a workstation or steering wheel, it’s no surprise we get associated aches and pains or postural problems. We’ve already touched on how massage will help with pain, but it can work wonders for correcting posture too. A massage specialist will be able to check your alignment for posture issues before hunting down any areas of tightness or knots that may be affecting your posture. Manipulation of the problem areas will loosen everything off, getting you moving again after long periods of sitting or standing in the same position.
7. You need some time out
We’ve explored how massage can help with pain, tension, stress, insomnia and so much more. If life’s taking over, massage is one of the best ways to schedule in some down time to help you relax, recover, and jump off the daily grind. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a busy parent, recovering post-surgery/illness/injury, or just in need of a ‘pick me up’, massage is for everyone and the health benefits for both body and mind are huge.
Our physios at W5Physio will be able to advise if massage may benefit your condition. Feel free to get in touch with us here.