Our health is in our hands. When it comes to caring for our bodies, there are few measures more beneficial than remedial therapy. This holistic approach assesses and treats health conditions with targeted forms of yoga and massage. When these two methods are combined, they create a proactive means to achieve optimal health and well-being and can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine.
Rather than resorting to costly medication or invasive surgery, natural therapies allow us to take a preventative stance before serious health conditions arise. The following practices can remedy signs of physical and mental stress, putting good health just within everyone’s reach, where yoga and massage can be your solution.
The Power of Yoga
According to Yoga Alliance, the ancient Indian practice comprehensively improves our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being with concentrated breathing and intentional postures. From Hatha to Vinyasa, each form of yoga relies on the body’s own restorative and regenerative abilities to heal itself. In the short term, yoga can provide immediate stress relief, improve blood circulation, and increase flexibility. Long-term results range from decreased anxiety and reduced chronic pain to improve brain function and increased lung capacity.
Yoga as Medicine
Practicing yoga is inarguably advantageous for cardiovascular health. For those who have experienced cardiac arrest or heart attacks, the American Heart Association has found that yoga and massage help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Arthritis sufferers can stay flexible without added stress to the joints, as yoga is a low-impact exercise. For mental health, yoga is particularly effective as a treatment for anxiety and depression. It singlehandedly boosts the mood and energy levels while keeping fatigue and tension at bay.
Yoga and Massage in Pregnancy
Giving birth is the most physically demanding event a woman will ever endure, which is why new mothers can greatly benefit from regular yoga and massage. Prenatal yoga prepares mothers for childbirth with techniques to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility. Plus, it can reduce lower back pain and swell around the joints. Massage in pregnancy, on the other hand, enhances these benefits with relief from typical discomforts such as backaches, leg cramps, headaches, and stiffness.
Benefits of Deep Tissue Body Massage
Unlike lighter forms of massage, therapeutic deep tissue massage repairs deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. When muscle fibers stick together, they form uncomfortable “knots.” Scar tissue can further develop under chronic stress, resulting in extreme back pain and reduced range of motion.
That’s where a deep tissue body massage comes in. The yoga and massage practitioner uses slow, firm strokes to manipulate deep layers of tissue. The primary goal is to relieve pain and bring back mobility, which is why this clinical massage is popular among athletes. It can also treat conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis and tennis elbow.
Massage for Dementia
Treatment for dementia often involves the use of various cognition-enhancing medications, but there are less chemically involved methods of care for the elderly. Massage for dementia patients combats the lack of human touch and isolation that the medically frail typically face in hospitals and senior facilities. Recommended techniques include slow, gentle massage of the back, hands, and feet. Just five minutes of massage have been shown to improve sleep quality, decrease agitation and reduce pain.
Take good health into your own hands by becoming a certified massage and/or yoga practitioner. Training can help you understand the body’s muscular, skeletal and lymphatic systems, as well as the physiological effects of natural therapies. Share the healing powers of yoga and massage by showing others it’s possible to live life without pain.
Marc Innes is the Owner and Principal of the School of Natural Therapies, a training school for Massage & Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc began his career in the NHS, working in a number of managerial and training roles within the Ambulance Service in London. Marc spent much of that time educating and coaching medical staff. Over time he developed an interest in all things complementary to Allopathic Medicine, in particular, Reiki Healing which, along with EFT, culminated in Marc running a successful teaching and “energy healing” practice. Marc is passionate about the massage and complementary therapy industry.