Why Massage is So Good for Your body

‘Massage can release areas that no amount of stretching can access’ by Harriet Morgan Thompson

I have done yoga for a number of years. What style I do is ever changing as there’s often a different reason for me doing it. When I did a lot of sport whether it was cycling, running, swimming or weight training I used yoga at the end of the week to stretch tight muscles. Even though I love how dynamic Vinyasa flow is, I now use yoga a lot more for relaxing through Yin and Restorative styles.

In the modern world everything we do is very forward facing. This is exacerbated through sitting at a computer/tablet, texting and driving. For all the forward folding we do, this should be counteracted with chest/heart opening which creates balance in the front and back body. For years I swam competitively which shortened the chest muscles so much that my rotator cuff didn’t function properly. I wasn’t open enough in the front body.

Repetitive injuries through the action of Chaturanga (yoga press up) can lead to shoulder injuries in the rotator cuff often from tightness in the chest. When pec minor at the front of the shoulder pulls the shoulder girdle forward it is not sitting in the correct place to use the back muscles and set the scapula in the right position.

The posterior chain is very linked together so calves, hamstrings, glutes and lower back work very much in conjunction with each other. When releasing off one area it is often important to appreciate whether there will be tightness elsewhere. If someone is sat swaying back on their hips their hamstrings may be contracted so in a forward fold the limitation in that muscle can feel like a pull on the lower back.

sports and remedial messageYoga is very similar to ballet in that people can be commended by others on being bendy (usually not by yoga teachers). But due to this hypermobility in joints I have seen multiple cases of people being pushed too far in a twisted triangle and blaming yoga for their injury have thrown the towel in. There is an obvious visual element that goes along with trying to push for the fancy moves, but with all the showing off that goes on taking yoga selfies injuries can occur.

Where muscles of the neck meet the skull is a good example of where we hold tension and somewhere headaches/migraines can originate from. Massage can release areas that no amount of stretching can access. That’s why for me yoga and massage go hand in hand.

Harriet is Yoga Kula’s Massage expert. For an appointment book online.

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