Make remedial massage part of your get fit, lose weight resolution

10 October 2012

Have you made a resolution recently to lose weight, get fit and/or stay fit? If so, you should consider regular remedial massage as an important part of your fitness regime. Without it, some of the energy you use in getting fit may be wasted!

Getting fit is basically about being more healthy, improving stamina and developing or toning muscle. As a result you'll feel better about yourself and be more energetic, productive and positive.

An overall healthy lifestyle, which incudes regular exercise and stretching in a gym, at home or outdoors - together with a nutritious and balanced diet, are key factors in losing weight, getting and staying fit.

Remedial massage is another vital ingredient.

This is especially so for those who exercise regularly or strenuously with weight programs and/or impact activities like running and aerobics.

Massage - particularly deep tissue Remedial - stimulates the flow of blood, lymphatic fluid, oxygen and nutrients to all the muscles and organs. It also releases muscle tension and knots, helps improve tone in stretched muscle, balances the left/right and front/back muscular and skeletal systems and helps improve breathing.

Weight loss is assisted by boosting the flow of blood and lymph. This stimulates the heart, digestive and immune systems and other organs (the body's overall metabolism) to do their job more effectively.

With proper balance on both sides of the body, loose and flexible muscles do not need to work harder against or compensate for opposing tight individual muscles or muscle groups.

Regular stretching - before and after exercise - of various muscle groups is essential and helps reduce the need for massage. However, quite often the stretching people do in gyms or at home on their own is insufficient or inappropriate.

As a result, many "get fit" exercise enthusiasts (particularly novices) find themselves with tight, stretched or knotted muscles. Uncomfortable or serious aches and pains begin to develop then you begin to question whether this "get fit" resolution is worth continuing.

Tight muscles doing opposing jobs (eg hamstrings at back of legs and quadriceps at front of legs) have to work much harder against each other than if they were loose and flexible. Hence they tire more easily and you need to use much more energy – making your exercise less efficient.

This in turn can also have a psychologically draining effect, making you wonder if all the effort is worthwhile for little noticeable result.

Muscles may knot when they are exercised to the point where they hurt or a burning sensation is felt. This is generally where the oxygen in the muscle is exhausted, leaving a deposit of carbon dioxide. This may then crystalise into lactic acid, causing muscle fibres to tighten and bunch up ("knot") around these deposits.

While the "no pain no gain" rule is usually necessary to develop more strength and stamina, the down-side can be the tight and knotted muscles and ongoing stiffness and soreness. Deep tissue remedial massage, usually combined with stretching by the masseur, is by far the most effective treatment for this.

By massaging along and across the muscle fibres, therapists can release toxins and improve the blood flow within the muscle. This helps release short muscles and tone stretched muscles.

Without regular stretching and/or massage, more serious or extensive problems may develop. Very tight muscles are more susceptible to tearing and other injuries.

Another example of potential problems is with constantly tight major leg muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps and calves) in athletes and aerobics enthusiasts. These muscles become unable to absorb much of the impact of running or aerobics sessions.  As a result, muscular stress from the impact of these activities travels up the legs, through the buttocks and hip flexors (front of hips) into the spine, and ultimately up into the shoulder and neck.

So massages at the beginning and during your get fit mission can help ensure the energy you spend exercising effectively and efficiently translates into extra strength and stamina. If you've already developed serious aches and pains, remedial massage can very effectively alleviate them.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Mount Louisa-based Townsville Massage therapist specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains and headaches. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.