If movement is medicine for your body then massage is magic…
Let’s first clear the air on some common misconceptions about massage, the benefits and how you can use this all natural solution to promote the health, wellness, healing and restoration of your body and mind.
I will cover the truth about the benefits of regular massage and self massage for neck, shoulder and upper back issues, how to release tight tissues without harming yourself and proper techniques and tips. (I will cover lower body leg and back pain in another post, yes videos too!).
Massage is Not Just a Luxury and It’s a Necessity
Many people feel guilty when they spend money or time on themselves especially for higher “ticket” purchases like massage, wellness or fitness and it is often a stumbling block of seeking the help and getting the self care they really need, and would actually saves them from going down the route of pills, painkillers, injections, surgery or slowing down in life.
Your health is an investment. You are an investment. It amazes me how often people upgrade their phone and never miss servicing their cars, but are less inclined to find the time or resources to care for their bodies, inside and out.
Health, or healthy habits are a discipline and a way of living not just a thing you do occasionally or when you get around to it. Like most habits the more you do them, consistently and with intention the more you benefit and the more likely you are to keep them.
Regular massage has a protective effect and is also like a little litmus test for your body and helps bring awareness to how your body and mind are really doing. It helps you connect the dots between patterns in your life, whether that’s; work, daily duties, fun recreational activities, travel ,commuting, relationships and stressors. You will begin to see how you body responds to the demands you put on it and how massage can help bring you back to that healthy and happy balance both physically and mentally.
Once you can start to see that your desk posture hours, leaning of the kitchen counter cooking, or the weekend rounds of golf are causing you to tighten up, feel stiff, achy or stressed you will better be able to get the help you need and as often as you need. So you can avoid depending on painkillers, get stuck needing procedures, surgeries or having to miss out in life.
Benefits of Massage…How Long do they Really Last?
With either professional or self massage what you feel and the positive changes that are occurring deep within your body and mind may be not as detectable. The relief you get from a massage will vary. It highly depends on your expectations, your body, mind and what you do before and after the massage both immediately and the days to follow. Are bodies don’t just look and feel like they do overnight. We are in process. It is a combination of the good and the not so good habits we have or the demands that we place on our bodies that bring us to where we are at today. Which I see as a positive and changeable.
The variables. Your body type, whether you have really big, dense tight muscles, or you are really lean with stiff joints or maybe you are in a specific season of life, like recovering from surgery, training for an activity, stressed out and can’t exercise and are stuck at a desk or car, or pregnant will factor in how you respond to your massages.
Your choices. The type of massage, the problems or areas you want targeted and the duration of the massage are all factors of the benefits. As well as if you make unhealthy, demanding and stressful choices after the massage.
Massage is NOT only for Tight, Tense and Stiff Muscles
It is for so much more than releasing tight tense muscles. Massage releases many positive (feel good) hormones, provides stimulation to your muscles and joints that will lead to improved posture, joint and bone health, breathing, steady restful sleep, enhanced energy, calmness, detoxification, improved circulation and digestive health and decreases inflammation.
MORE Pressure is NOT Always Better to Release Tension and Tight Muscles
This is probably the most common misconception people initially have. I think it stems from the old adage “no pain no gain” or “it hurts so it must be doing something.”
Well, not really.
When people tend to want “really, really deep massage” it is because they feel like their muscles are so tight. If the muscles have existed in this state of tension and restriction, actually going really deep often causes the muscle to go into spasm and seize up even more. Which, is yet another reason to seek a Massage Specialist and not just any quick fix option- because an inexperienced masseuse that panders to you or doesn’t know what is best can do more harm than good.
In this situation, it is often the nervous system along with the muscles and joints that need a therapeutic re-set, so that they are no longer hyper-sensitive and reactive. The cycle needs to be broken with some TLC and not necessarily more and more pressure. An Expert in Massage will know this, how to explain this and help you in the way you really need and guide you in the appropriate techniques and modifications to perform self massage on yourself. We recommend using natural topical products like Theracream for enhanced and accelerated pain relief and reduction in tension, soreness or anxiety and to increase your ability to recover from injury or activity.
How Can You Can Perform Self-Massage for Neck, Shoulder and Upper Back Relief
When you can’t get a massage, are short on time, funds or are stuck at home you can still get relief and release tension, stress or tightness.
Especially with the increased time spent commuting, on devices and stressed out it becomes really important to regularly perform self care massage and Release. It is one of our Movement Methods to Stay Active, Fit and Injury-free. Regular self massage should be performed daily and a component of your wellness and fitness routine. We know the importance of release and restoring your body with movement, stretching and massage that we specifically designed a class devoted to it. Learn more about our in-studio and online Release & Restore Class or how you can get some videos to do at home 🙂
So watch the video, read the instructions and reach out to us if you have any questions. Know that this isn’t a substitute for any professional or medical attention that is advised to assess, address and overcome any physical or emotional needs.
Here are some simple strategies and instructions to help release annoying knots in your neck, shoulder and upper back.
Wondering where to get these massage and stretching tools to use? Just visit our online store and we will get them to you stat!
Double Tennis Ball/Peanut Rollout
- Frequency: 1-2/day
- Instructions: Place the taped double tennis/LAX balls between your shoulder blades, lean vs a wall or on the floor, rolling the balls up and down. 1-2 min.
Lacrosse Ball Cross- Body Rollout
- Frequency: 1-2/day
- Instructions: Place the LAX ball between your shoulder blade and spine, lean against a wall or on the floor, rolling the balls up and down on your mid upper back, then on the back of your shoulder blade and then shoulder. 1-2 min.
Lacrosse Ball Pec & Shoulder Rollout
- Frequency: 1-2/day
- Instructions: Place the LAX ball on the front of your pec, lean vs the wall and roll around adding pressure as you can tolerate, spend 20 sec/area; rollout, biceps, deltoids, back of shoulder blade and lat. 1-2 min. Repeat on the other side.
Foam Roller- Lats Rollout
- Frequency: 1-2/day
- Instructions: Lying on your side with arm extended over the FR, roll up and down your lat. 1-2 min. It can be intense so breathe and be careful over areas of tenderness.
Foam Roller- Upper Back
- Frequency: 1-2/day
- Instructions: Place Foam Roller horizontally under mid upper back, support your neck and cradle your head in your hands. Roll up and down your mid upper back muscle, try to avoid your spine. 1-2 mins
I hope this made you take a step back and evaluate your current perception of getting a massage, performing self-massage or signing up for a class that is devoted to releasing and restoring your body.
Want help to figure out what your body needs or what is the best program for you? You can contact us here. Or you can apply for a free consultation with a Movement Specialist.
Interested in trying one of our Specialty Classes in-person or online….
Here is a Preview of our Specialty Classes
- Back and Core Class: Learn how to build a stronger core and back, find the power of your breath in movement and in stabilizing strength poses.
- Power and Posture Class: This class focuses on strength, stability, balance and posture. By performing mat, staning, and functional PIlates body weight exercise methods you will create a strong stable foundation and will correct the imbalances and compensations that lead to pain or injury.
- Cardio Sculpt Class: Get ready to supercharge your day and metabolism! In this class we will harness the resistance of our bodies, bands and weights in an interval style Pilates flow. It is the perfect reset to any slump you may be experiencing in your current fitness and eating habits 🙂
- Release and Restore Class: In this class you will experience a flow of therapeutic movement massage, stretching and endurance building stabilizing poses. Find peace, stability and control through movement and breathing. Experience the healing, balance and peace it needs now more than ever.
We have classes 7 days a week, with Express (45 min) Lunch time classes so you can always fit in your perfect workout! (Both in-studio and VIRTUALLY online!!!)
Join us today and start feeling amazing and unstoppable.Check out our class schedule and find your perfect class. You can also start with our FREE 30 min Group Pilates Taster Class or a Private Taster Session with one of our Expert Instructors 🙂
We offer a few these FREE appointments weekly both in-person at our studio or we can do them VIRTUALLY from the comfort of your own home or office…on your schedule 7 days a week !!
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