How Can Massage Therapy Help Fix Posture?
Did you know that among its many benefits, massage therapy can also help cure bad posture? This means that while you may already be partaking in other physical activities for this condition, you can also try massage therapy, a relaxing and enjoyable activity, as opposed to exercise, for example.
But before we delve into how massage therapy can fix posture problems, it is important to understand what does bad posture looks like, its causes, and how it affects a person’s life.
Therefore, this article will begin by explaining such important information about bad posture, and then move on to discussing the ways in which massage therapy can be important to treat this condition.
What Is Bad Posture?
If you have ever felt that your neck or back hurt after doing certain tasks, e.g., cleaning around the house, or after spending long hours on an office desk, then you most likely have a posture issue. While these two symptoms are not the only ones indicating a posture problem, they are the most common ones.
Medically speaking, one develops bad or poor posture when their spinal cord stays in bent positions for extended periods of time, leading to increased pressure being put on joints and ligaments. This pressure can eventually build up over time to develop a posture that is bad for our muscles and joints.
The most common cause of developing bad posture is, well, sitting. As human beings, we spend a significant amount of our lives sitting in various positions and postures for a variety of things; eating, driving, office work, studying, etc. In doing so, it is fairly common to not sit in the correct posture for your spine for extended periods of time.
Your muscles are also affected in this process. For example, sitting in a hunched position for a long time can reshape your muscles in multiple ways, which can lead to muscle imbalances in the body. Ultimately, the muscles will then adjust to maintain the bad posture.
What Causes Bad Posture?
There are various causes of poor posture, some of which as already discussed are related to sitting in an improper position for extended periods of time. Here are two of the most common causes that lead to bad posture.
1. Muscle Tension/Weakness
This problem can develop when a particular position or posture is maintained for a long time. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in a sitting position and can also be caused by doing chores in a manner that causes muscles to weaken or develop tension over time.
Muscle tension and weakness can also lead to pain if left untreated. Luckily, massage therapy can be used to help relieve tension in muscles and loosening them up to bring strength back.
2. Mental Health Issues Such As Stress
Another reason why bad posture can develop over time is because of stress. Our bodies are complex machines, with various links between our brains, hormone production, muscles, and nerve endings. This means that your mental health can and does affect your physical body.
In this way, if you are stressed beyond a certain point for a fair amount of time, your muscles and ligaments will be affected by it as well and may lead to bad posture over time. How this happens is that stress can make your muscles contract more than they should.
Massage therapy is a good way to manage the stress that takes hold of your muscles. Learn more about how this happens in the last section of the article.
Effects of Bad Posture
While many do not consider the effects of bad posture until the issue becomes severe, it is necessary to identify and then seek treatment for this ailment, ideally before it becomes physically impairing. The following are some common effects of bad posture that many people face in their daily lives.
- Experiencing pain in upper and lower back, neck and shoulders
- Bad or poor circulation in the body, leading to varicose veins
- Digestive problems, or slow digestion
- Spine misalignment or spine curvature
- Nerves becoming constricted
Some of these ailments are more painful and serious than others and may require additional treatment in terms of medicines or physiotherapy. But all of them can be successfully prevented with massage therapy.
How Massage Therapy Can Fix Posture
This might be new information for some of you, but massages are a scientifically proven method of correcting bad posture. Not only is this method ideally a painless one, but it is also one of the best ways to help improve your mood simultaneously.
Therefore, if you are looking for a relaxing and pleasant way to cure your posture issues, there is frankly no better solution to your problems than regular massage therapy.
There are many types of massages that make use of different kinds of techniques. So, massage therapists will ideally provide you with specific massages to treat your respective conditions. Typically, there are three types of massage that massage therapists use for a variety of posture-related issues.
These are sports massage, deep tissue massage, and Swedish massage.
1. Sports Massage
Contrary to its name, this massage is not reserved for those that only engage in sports or intense physical activity. This type of massage involves targeting the soft tissue of the body by applying pressure there according to the client’s preference.
The most immediate consequence of a sports massage is that it improves blood circulation within the body, increasing the flow to the muscles as their temperature increases. This causes the muscles and joints to become more flexible, which ultimately reduces pain and tension in them.
With reduced tension, the muscles and joints are more elastic and hence allows for the posture to return to its ideal position. Added to this is the relaxation of the muscles from being constricted, which also enables better posture.
2. Deep Tissue Massage
This massage style is very similar to the sports massage and essentially works the same way; by applying the client's preferred intensity of pressure on soft tissues to relax the muscles for flexibility. Perhaps the only difference between a deep tissue massage and a sports massage is that the former targets the deeper layers of connective tissue.
This style also helps increase a person’s mobility as muscles relax to adjust in their natural position. You will also start to feel the pain leave your body in a deep tissue massage, which will help maintain good posture.
3. Swedish Massage
Finally, this type of massage is used both for physical ailments as well as to achieve mental relaxation. If you are looking for an overall experience, we suggest you go for the Swedish massage. In this style, the pressure applied can either be firm or gentle and specifically targets areas in your body that carry the most tension.
Therefore, a Swedish massage may target your lower back or the shoulders if these areas are the ones where pain or stiffness lies. Ultimately, this massage will bring about relief in mostly the same ways that the other two will, but the approach here is perhaps more holistic in terms of what relaxation looks like.
In other words, after a Swedish massage, you will not just physically feel better but also feel mentally relaxed and generally experience an improved mood.
To get a professional massage therapist for your bad posture, call Body of Beverly Hills Wellness at 310-652-2099.