As a sculptor of the human body, you need to take care of your art. While there are many ways to go about maintaining yourself, one of the very best methods is massage therapy. The benefits are wonderful and go far beyond relaxation, such as the following!
The strain of bodybuilding is going to build up over time. Since the entire point is to put your muscles under enough pressure to force them to grow, the constancy of such a hobby very likely will mean a buildup of pain over time—especially if you’ve been lifting weights for years. Areas of muscle where you unconsciously carry stress, such as in the shoulders, jaw, neck, or others, will especially be zones of stiffness. Massage therapy works directly on these zones with the express purpose of relaxing them and reducing discomfort. While it will likely take many repeat visits to find lasting relief, you will also likely be amazed at the difference you feel leaving the massage parlor for the first time!
Any experienced bodybuilder will tell you that lifting weights without stretching is a recipe to get injured. The flexibility that comes from stretching will not only reduce the likelihood of injury but will also enable you to do more advanced and comprehensive workouts. Massage therapy is, essentially, pinpointed and targeted stretching for those hard-to-get individual muscles. If you need to decrease stiffness and increase your range of motion, you may find that massage therapy helps your joints move more freely. More freedom of movement means more control over the workouts that you currently do, and more options if you wish to work out new muscle groups that you previously neglected.
Improve Mental Relaxation
The relief and improved physical performance that you can gain from massage therapy is often accompanied by a mental improvement as well. Stress is, after all, just as mental as it is physical. Often the physiological reactions that occur unconsciously in our muscles, such as developing a stress knot, result from mental or emotional duress rather than physical ones. Bodybuilders are vulnerable to both. So be sure to use your massage therapy as a period of unwinding and meditation. You will see positive results reflected in your workouts!
As much as you may want to power through with energy and determination, the truth is that sometimes you need to back off in order to improve. Your body needs breaks just like your individual muscles do. Massage therapy offers some of the best physical and mental treatments in the business, and you will only wish that you had done it sooner!Read this next: What’s Most Likely to Hurt Your Fitness Goals