Massage Therapy vs Assisted Stretching: Which is More Effective?

Strong muscles are crucial for good health and superior performance. With regular muscle treatment, you can increase blood flow, relax joints and tendons, and improve circulation.

Massage therapy and assisted stretching are two of the best ways to provide muscle relief. In order to respond better to your body’s needs and wants, it will help to understand the methods and benefits surrounding each treatment.

How Massage Therapy Works

Massage is an umbrella term for pressing, rubbing, and manipulating muscles and ligaments to promote relaxation and recovery. It is a popular form of passive stretching wherein an individual stays put while a therapist applies external pressure on the part of the body that is being stretched. While a general massage therapy will involve work on the entire body, sessions can be customized to focus on specific or problematic areas only.

Massage may range from gentle stroking to deep pressure techniques. It’s best performed immediately after an intense workout or strenuous activity as it can help relieve pulls or strains, and leave a calming effect on the body. Massage can also provide much needed relaxation in the midst of a busy work week.

That being said, too much massage therapy can lead to injuries and overstretching. Wrong strokes, excessive pressure application, and skin abrasions due to friction may put the body at greater risk. Injuries stemming from massage techniques require immediate, and often expensive, medical treatment. In addition, a massage may leave you feeling drowsy and fatigued after due to the intense muscle manipulation that took place.

The Benefits of Assisted Stretching

Like massage, assisted stretching makes use of an external force to soothe tightness and keep muscles engaged. Assisted stretching may share several similarities with massage, but its main purpose is to enhance mobility.

During a typical session, a therapist will move and stretch out your body until muscles are elongated and the fascia is stretched out. Doing so will help remedy any distortions and reduce painful movement.

Muscle coordination and flexibility can become imbalanced as you age. You will also notice that your range of motion or your ability to move joints comfortably reduces as time goes by. All these issues may lead to mobility limitation and structural instability in the long run. With regular assisted stretching, you can boost flexibility and put less stress on your muscles, resulting to better performance and comfort.

The Secret to Pain-Free Mobility

While there’s no second guessing the healing potential of massage, assisted stretching optimizes recovery in ways massage therapy cannot.

Most individuals rely on massage for instant recovery. Assisted stretch takes it one step further by offering long-term solutions to rehabilitation. The goal of assisted stretch is to help people move freely to the best of their ability and live a pain-free life without undergoing surgery. As mentioned earlier, too much recovery can trigger injuries and soreness.  With assisted stretching, you can look forward to lower stress levels and greater strength and endurance.

At StretchSPOT, our professional therapists combine elements of Active Isolated Stretching, myofascial release and PNF techniques to help each client reach their health and fitness goals. Book an appointment today and experience the vast benefits of assisted stretching.

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The Big Benefits of Stretch

In a nut shell, stretching is great for you! But you knew that right? Check out the reasons to get some kind of stretching into your life…
 

1. Stretching Reduces Pain
Tight muscles cause pain! They cause parts of the body to be pulled in the wrong directions, example, tight hamstrings can cause the pelvis to be pulled down creating pressure and pain on the lower back. Stretching out tight muscles will relieve this pain and make you feel a whole lot better. It could also help you avoid surgery and everyone wants that, right?! 

2. Stretching Helps You Compete as an Athlete
Whether you’re a Pro Baller or a Weekend Warrior, you want to be the best you can be at your sport, right? Of course! Regular stretching gets the blood and therefore oxygen and nutrients flowing quickly through your body This boosts performance, keeps you going for longer and reduces post-workout soreness. 

3. Stretching Combats Stress
We all get stressed, some of us more than others. Stress restricts the blood flow and causes tension in your muscles and lower back. Stretching stimulates receptors in the nervous system that decrease the production of stress hormones and stretching out those tight muscles brings physical and mental relief. 

4. Stretching Improves Health
Because it increases circulation and gets the blood flowing, stretching can be seriously good for your overall health! Good circulation produces vigorous cell growth and improved organ functioning. Well-functioning circulation keeps the heart rate lower and protects against high blood pressure and heart disease.

The moral of the story? Get your stretch on guys! Whether you do it alone, with a partner, in a class or with us down at StretchSPOT, clear out a little patch of time in your schedule to stretch and you will reap the rewards.