Stretching post-massage is a way of preserving the benefits, it can help your body retain the relaxation and elasticity achieved through your massage session.
Deep massage and exercise can affect the muscles in similar ways. Massage increases blood flow and circulation and can create friction in the tissues like movement does. Stretching after a treatment can keep joints mobile, maintain the looseness in muscles and tissues, and improve flexibility.
Furthermore, whilst a massage can be very beneficial, what a person does with their body on a daily basis will trump any intervention done by a body worker. It’s all about habituation. What you do every day sculpts your muscles and tissues. Therefore, incorporating these stretches into your daily routine will help keep your body in good shape.
Back and neck
Cat-Cow stretch – on all fours, push your hands into the ground and arch your back up to the sky and tuck
your chin to your chest, then arch your back to the ground and lift your chin to the sky
Spinal stretches – in standing reach down in all directions.
Knee holds – lying on your back hug your knees into your chest.
Neck stretch – stretch your neck in all directions, can use your hand to assist.
Quad stretch – in standing bend one knee up to your bum and hold (push hips forward for an extra stretch)
Hamstring stretch – in standing cross your legs and reach down as far as you can (keep knees straight)
Calf stretch – stand into a narrow lunge position, bend your front knee whilst keeping your other knee straight and push that heel into the ground.
Pull across – using one hand pull your other arms across your body.
Tricep pull – reach over the top of your shoulder and down your back with one hand and assist using your other hand to pull on your elbow.
Wrist stretches – stretch your wrists into all directions and assist with your other hand to pull into the end of range.
Keep movements slow, maintain a steady breathing pattern, and do not hesitate to modify any stretch for greater comfort. All stretches will be beneficial but focus on the stretches which target the body parts worked on during your massage.