Massage and Stretching Guide

alt="A man stretching and massaging his body"

Massage and Stretching Guide

Massage and stretching therapy have been used since ancient times to promote overall health and wellbeing. These forms of medicinal aid are still used today to:

  • Treat pain
  • Relax and provide relief to muscles
  • Rehabilitate the body when there is an injury
  • Decrease stress and anxiety levels
  • Enhance flexibility

Massage Guide: Deep Tissue Muscle and Lymphatic Massage 

After strenuous activity, like exercise, these therapies are just what you need. In addition to providing muscle relief and mental ease, massage therapy helps restore your wellness by bettering the immune system and even the lymphatic system. There are different types of massages used for different occasions. We have put together the ultimate Massage and Stretching Guide to help you optimize its benefits.

Deep Tissue Muscle Massage

After injuries, sprains, and stressful days causing tension in your body, a deep tissue muscle massage is extremely beneficial.

 Apply pressure to the problem areas using slow strokesdeep circular motions, and essential oils to eliminate pain and increase blood flow and inflammation.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

The lymphatic system of the body aids in the elimination of toxins and waste material through fluids. Fluids may build up in the lymph system, causing complications. A lymphatic drainage massage enhances lymph flow and reduces swelling. This massage should be done on both sides of the body.

alt='"A Lady receiving a massage and having her muscles stretched"

 

First, we need to prepare 4 lymph areas to accept more fluid. These lymph areas are located above the clavicle, on the elbow’s inner part, in the underarmsand in the groin area.

  • For the supraclavicular area, lie on a flat surface, crossing your hands and resting them below the clavicle. Then lift your elbows slowly and hold for 5 seconds.
  • For the inside of your elbow, place your arm in an extended position by your side. Using the other hand, carefully and repeatedly pinch the skin on the inside of the elbow.
  • For the underarms, place your hand on your head and use the other hand to stroke the armpit from top to bottom.
  • For the groin, by placing one hand on the inner part of the leg and the other at the back of the leg, stretch the skin outwards and upwards from the upper thigh to the knee.

Secondly and finally, use gentle pumping strokes from the area of swelling towards the nearest lymph nodes located either in the groin, the underarm, in the inner part of the elbow, or above the clavicle.

Repeat as often as you like.

Stretching Guide: Static and PNF Stretching

Stretching must be gentle in order to elongate the muscles and relax them without pain. If you experience a burning feeling or have a muscle spasm when stretching, you are doing it incorrectly. Stretching aims to enhance your ability to bend and flex, as well as to improve your strength.

Static Stretching :

Static stretching involves finding tension in the muscle through a particular position and then holding that position for about 45 seconds. If upon repetition of the exercise, you feel no stretch in that same position, stretch further until you feel tension and hold. This is called developmental stretching. Remember to be gentle. This enables muscles and their connective tissue to elongate and encourages a reduction in muscle tension.

 When should you use static stretching? 

  1. After workout routine to prevent injury
  2. During a cool-down routine after sporting events or training to reduce the risk of injury

PNF Stretching

According to research, this may be the most effective type of stretching for expanding your range of movement. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) involves stretching and contracting the muscle with a stretching partner’s help.

 

alt="Two partners stretching, with the male partner massaging the female partner."

After static stretching with the help of a partner:

  1. Contract the stretched muscle at 30% of your full effort for 13 seconds.
  2. Relax the muscle for 3 seconds and continue with developmental stretching.
  3. Repeat at least 3 times.

When should you use PNF stretching?

1. On a day where no rigorous exercise will be performed

2. After a gym, home, or outdoor workout

Conclusion

Massage therapy is effective for stressed individuals, patients with lymphedema and fibromyalgia, and people suffering from muscle pain. It is extremely beneficial to the wellness of the body and mind. Effective stretching entails gentleness and consistency. They benefit the muscles, ligaments, fascia, and connective tissue of your body, making them stronger and more flexible.

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18 Comments

  1. Ceejay

    I’ll give the lymphatic massage a try 🙂

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