Fitness Friday

The Feel-Good Way to Make Your Workouts Better

Massage therapy isn't just for indulging, it can relieve pain, increase mobility and prevent injuries.

By Ayshe Tayfun April 29, 2016

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Image: Shutterstock

There are few among us who don't love a good massage. For many it's the number one pampering, stress-busting experience to indulge in. The moment you slide off a massage table may be the closest you feel to 100 percent. If you enjoy the occasional relaxing massage but all the kinks and tension return within minutes, your body may be asking for more. The question is how to find the most effective massage method for your particular aches and pains.

For maximum relief, a massage approach should be customized according to a body mechanics assessment, according to Cheryl Francisco, the founder of Kinetic Body Works. This Upper Kirby-area massage studio specializes in sports massage therapy, therapeutic massage, connective tissue fascia release and pregnancy sports massage. Clinically trained massage therapists assess each patient's body mechanics to see where the pain, strain or tension derives from and determine the appropriate combination of massage methodologies to best treat it moving forward. They also recommend ways you can self-maintain between visits, which may help cut back on the frequency of massage treatments, improve mobility and keep you feeling your best.

Massage therapy can benefit virtually anyone, regardless of level of activity. A massage program can help older adults increase mobility around the home—therapeutic massage in particular is a technique that can benefit individuals that are mostly inactive but need to manage pain, improve ergonomic functionality and prevent and rehabilitate injuries.

Sports therapy massage may include techniques such as PNF, or proprioceptive muscular facilitation, a form of stretching for greater range of motion, as well as compression, deep tissue and Swedish massage. Connective tissue fascia release is effective for increasing mobility by targeting the tension in the connective tissue (or fascia) that surrounds our muscles. Massage can also be particularly effective for pregnant women, alleviating aches and pain during the second and third trimesters.

Whatever your body needs, make a massage work for you—and not the other way around. The benefits of a tailored massage may be just what you need to get back to 100 percent.

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