Can Massage Therapy Help Strengthen Muscles?

A deep tissue massage is a great way to keep muscles healthy and prevent muscle weakness. It uses a variety of pressures on all areas of the body that contain soft tissue, penetrating deep into muscle fibers to break adhesions and increase muscle flexibility and range of motion. Adhesions are bundles of collagen fibers that come together to repair muscle fibers and tissues damaged after injury, and can reduce muscle flexibility and range of motion. Breaking adhesions with a deep tissue massage can help prevent muscle weakness and maintain muscle health.

In today's sedentary society, muscle atrophy is more common than most people realize. It's important to exercise daily to maintain muscle mass and strength, as well as flexibility. While massage therapy cannot build muscle directly, it can minimize pain and provide optimal cellular circulation and nutrition to maintain maximum tone and prevent atrophy for as long as possible. A restorative massage aims to improve muscle condition and increase relaxation by manipulating muscle tissues.

Changes in parasympathetic activity (measured by heart rate, blood pressure and heart rate variability) and hormone levels (measured by cortisol levels) after massage produce a relaxation response (physiological mechanisms). It's normal to feel sore after a massage, especially if you've had a deep tissue massage or other type of massage that requires a lot of pressure. Deep tissue massages can stimulate old wounds, so communication is key. On the milder side, patients often feel sore and slightly irritating after the massage (pain and discomfort after the massage).

A massage can also help prevent late-onset muscle pain that occurs after intense training that can often lead to increased muscle pain and fatigue. Be sure to tell your therapist what you expect to get from your massage and be sure to help them regulate your pressure. The use of massages, such as sports techniques, deep tissue techniques or Swedish massage, can heal and repair exhausted and weakened muscles in the body after intense exercise.

Florence Baird
Florence Baird

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