Foam Rollers and Stretching: Great Compliments to Massage Therapy
Get the Most from Your Massage Therapy
We know that getting regular massages can have tremendous benefits, such as keeping your body relaxed, easing tension and anxiety, and of course massage also facilitates keeping your muscles loose. There are additional things you can do on your own at home that will supplement the benefits you receive from your massage. One choice is to use a foam roller, and add a few basic stretches to your weekly routine. This will enable you to get even greater results from massage therapy.
Foam Rolling – Stretch That Fascia
A foam roller is a cylinder made from fairly hard foam and is available in different sizes. Foam rolling is referred to as a self-myofacial release (SMR) technique. Fascia is the connective tissue that protects and connects our muscles, bones, and organs. Stretching the fascia by using a foam roller can increase blood flow to the muscles and help them relax and repair. Research also suggests that using a foam roller can help increase the amount of water that reaches the fascia and muscles – and staying hydrated helps us with mobility, flexibility and can also protect us from injury.
Adding stretching to your weekly routine can also greatly enhance the benefits you receive from your regular massage therapy appointments. Gently stretching your muscles can counteract some of the stress and tension that builds up during exercise by assisting the muscle back into its original shape. Stretching can also be beneficial for people who sit all day or lead an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. When you don’t move around much, your muscles can become stiff and tense, imbalances can occur, and all this can contribute to poor posture. Adding some basic stretches throughout your day can help counteract this – and help you stay flexible and relaxed in between massage visits.
The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts
Both foam rolling and stretching practice have tremendous benefits for our bodies, by reducing stress and tension, and increasing flexibility and mobility. Massage does this too, as well as enhancing a general sense of well-being! A self-care routine that includes rolling, stretching, and massage will optimize the benefits derived from each individual practice.