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Can Massage Therapy Improve Posture?

Your posture is defined as the way your muscles and bones are aligned. The importance of good posture cannot be overstated; your posture is related to your health, your appearance, and can even be linked to your success.  However, having a healthy posture is not as common as you would think. Many activities, such as sitting, lifting, sleeping, and standing, can all affect our posture.

How we sit is a major contributor to poor posture. Many people have jobs that involve sitting at a desk for 6 to 8 hours a day while staring at a computer screen. Few individuals remember to break up the monotony by stretching or going for a brief walk while on break. If you aren’t sitting while at work, you are likely sitting on your commute to and from work, or when you get home and are relaxing from a long day. Bad sitting postures can affect the shape of the spinal cord, leading to back pain, and with time, other serious complications. The way we sleep, stand, and lift things also plays a role in determining posture. More recently, technology has affected our posture as well. People commonly roll their shoulders forward and bend their neck while texting, browsing social media, or reading an eBook.

Massage Therapy is beneficial in reviving good posture habits. It does so in the following ways:

Massage Therapy Helps Relax Tense Muscles

Massage Therapy helps to relax tense body muscles through the use of mild pressure and long strokes along the back, neck and shoulders. During a massage, knots in your musculature are worked out and the muscles are no longer constantly tense. When the muscles are not forced into a contracted state, they are not pulling down on your spine; enabling you to comfortably straighten your back into a healthy posture. Deep tissue massages more effectively reduce severe muscular tension through a series of deeper penetrating strokes.

Massage Therapy Helps Reduce Pain

People usually experience pain in their lower back, neck, and shoulders as a result of a slouched posture. Massaging helps to stretch these sore muscles, so they do not feel overworked. Massages also help to push toxins out of the muscles, where they are carried away in the bloodstream to be disposed of as waste. With fewer toxins, like lactic acids, your muscles will begin to feel much healthier, and you will notice less pain.

Massage Therapy Improves Breathing

Did you know that bad posture affects your breathing? Not convinced? Try this: Sit on a chair and bend over, letting your hands rest on the floor. Do you find breathing easy? Probably not. Poor posture limits the movement of the lungs and diaphragm, thus stifling breathing. A massage, however, will help to ease the upper body muscles, improving your posture, and clearing out any breathing obstructions.

Massage Therapy Helps Reduce Risk Of Arthritis

With regular massage therapy, the danger of getting arthritis is also reduced. A common form of arthritis, Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the cartilage present between two bones in a joint wear off, causing the bones to rub against each other. The result is intense pain and swelling around these joints. Research has shown that poor posture is one cause of OA. Massage therapy often involves stimulating the muscles and joints to increase circulation in the treated area. Better circulation around your joints helps to keep the cartilage healthy.  

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