“In the simplest and scientific terms massage increases flexibility and mobility by breaking down fibrotic tissue that builds up in the muscle,” says Chiropractor Douglas Cole, of the Health Spot in Studio City, CA. “Fibrotic tissue is essentially the same thing as grizzle in a piece of meat.”
Massage also causes friction that warms the body increasing blood flow, which helps your muscles to have more elasticity. This increases your range of motion. Regular massage can help the muscles and tendons stay loose.
Those who have had the good fortune of experiencing a professional massage know that the benefits are plenty.
As we get older it's even more important to engage in therapeutic treatments that help us to restore and rejuvenate our bodies. There are four types of massage that will help you to recover and advance from tight muscles, and other aches and pains.
Swedish is still considered the most popular and common form of massage. It’s the feel-good way to expending range of motion. Its big proponent is that it calms the body, mind and spirit while allowing the body to open gradually. Swedish uses a myriad of strokes to stimulate underlying tissues to achieve results. Effleurage, petrissage, friction, and tapotement are all methods of touch that apply pressure to the body.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue is a significantly deeper stroke than Swedish massage and specifically lengthens the fascia (a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ), muscles and tendons. The benefits are increased joint movement, quicker injury recovery and better posture, etc. A deep tissue massage may be more effective in promoting greater flexibility but it can also be painful and cause soreness for days. During after-care drink plenty of water, eat well (whole foods) and rest. For the soreness, soak in an Epsom or Himalayan salt bath.
Hot Stone Massage
This modality in my opinion is the most enjoyable way to achieve flexibility. Hot Stones are sublime. Heat or friction is a key factor in opening up the body. With hot stones you can warm an entire area creating a broader range of flexibility. To open up the joints place rocks in the crooks of elbows and knees. For further relaxation play soft sounds of a bamboo flute and prop a bolster under your ankles. This is one avenue to heaven you don’t want to miss. An added perk is that hot stones increase circulation and metabolism.
Saving the best for last. Thai massage is renowned as the best massage technique to progressively improve overall flexibility and mobility – specifically of the leg, back, and hip muscles. It uses yoga like stretches to increase joint mobility and to reduce muscle fatigue. It also satisfies the goal of reducing long-term risk of accidental injury. To prepare for this massage wear loose fitting or baggy clothing like jersey cotton pants or a sweat suit.
Note: All four massage modalities are effective when relieving sore or tight muscles to help you move freely and easily. It all depends on which style makes you feel the best. If you’ve tried one it doesn’t mean you’ve tried them all. Have fun and explore.
Kelly is the resident massage therapist here at Tafiq's Physiques and is available by appointment only. Along with the above mentioned massage modalities Kelly also specializes in Acupressure, Reflexology, Lymphatic and CranioSacral Massage.
Schedule a massage with Kelly and get 25% off your first visit.
Schedule by calling 323-848-4235