Which Is Better Massage or Stretching?
Massage and stretching are both beneficial ways to keep your muscles relaxed, reduce tension, and of course, help recovery after an injury. But you may be asking yourself, which is better, massage or stretching?
Stretching helps get the blood flowing to your muscles, which is great if you’ve injured yourself. It is also good if your muscles are stiff because they’ve contracted due to inactivity.
Suitable stretching can stop your muscles from going into painful spasms or cramps. And it also prevents knots from forming in the muscles. These knots take so much work to get rid of when you have a massage!
On the other hand, regular massage improves your flexibility and range of motion, keeping your joints more fluid and making them minor injury-prone in the first place.
What are the differences between massage and stretches – and how do they work together to promote muscle and joint health?
What is a massage? Well, stripped right down, massage is simply a word used to manipulate muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue. Of course, there are many different types of massage and techniques suitable for other things, but when you go for a massage, your therapist will be doing it.
What’s massage suitable for?
We love a massage for general wellbeing, but medical massage is recognized for more than just making you feel good.
- Help strained muscles to heal faster
- Reduce swelling and scar tissue from an injury
- Relieve stiffness and tension in your muscles
- Reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and fatigue
Stretching does have a lot of similarities to massage as we talk about its benefits. But its primary benefit is to relieve the tightness and tension that’s built up in your muscles when you’ve used (and over-used) them.
Having an excellent, effective stretch can increase the blood flow to your muscles, leading to a better range of motion that helps your joints stay in alignment.
What’s stretching good for?
Proper stretching can:
- Improve your circulation
- Boost your nerve health – a contracted muscle around a nerve can create pressure to constrict the blood supply to the nerve.
- Make movement easier
- Improve flexibility
How can massage and stretching routines work together?
Daily stretching – to a point where you can feel it pulling on your muscles. It can help increase your flexibility, and you can feel the effects in a few weeks.
Enjoying a regular massage helps to keep your body relaxed and flexible. Massage can release trigger points and muscles in spasm, making your stretching routine even more effective.
You could even opt for a Thai massage that uses stretches and massage all in one session. Thai massage can give your muscles and tendons a comprehensive workout.
You can also ask your massage therapist for advice if you have any injuries or are experiencing stiffness in your muscles.
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