Whether for fitness, a direct sport or activity, or for general wellbeing, stretching plays a pivotal role and is as important to each of these just as much as a healthy diet is in order to keep your body healthy and strong.
You may often see an athlete stretching prior to performing, or you, yourself may warm-up and stretch while at the gym before lifting or jumping on an elliptical. This is because stretching your muscles can help to “loosen them up” before putting them to work, reducing the risk of an injury. There are many ways to stretch and prepare a muscle prior to intense use—and it is also important to stretch your muscles after working out and between workouts.
Why? Post-workout, your muscles build up lactic acid and are repairing tears; necessary steps to building healthy muscle but stiff muscles heal and grow more slowly than loose, nimble muscles—and they can be painful and reduce your mobility.
Even if you are not active, stretching serves to keep your muscles healthy. Aging, lack of activity, overuse, stress, and injury can cause muscles to tighten up, limiting their range of motion. This can cause a ripple effect in throughout the body—cause postural issues, back pain, shoulder pain, joint pain, and well, pain in general.
This kind of stretching is like a very technical massage. A massage therapist manipulates your muscles, stretching them and loosing knots for you. They may manipulate your limbs—lifting your leg in the air while you push against them to help intensify a traditional stretch of your hamstring muscles.
Your massage therapist may target specific areas of concern like shoulders, back, chest, and arms for swimmers or the muscles throughout the leg for runners. They may also provide assisted stretching for the whole body for those who are looking to maintain the health of their muscles such as those who are elderly, may not get enough regular activity, or are in a recovery period after an intensive activity (such as a marathon).
Contact us today to learn more about assisted stretching and how you can benefit most from this service.