Updated: Jun 4
In almost every massage I give there is some stretching involved. You can book a whole 1/2 hour of just stretching, a Thai Yoga Massage, or even my Balanced Massage includes it.
Improved flexibility / Increased range of motion / Improved freedom of movement
When you are stretching regularly you can expect these benefits, doesn't life sound better being able to move more freely?
By placing particular parts of the body in certain positions, we are able to increase the length of muscles, tendons and associated soft tissues. As a result, a reduction in general muscle tension is achieved and our normal range of motion is increased. This is stretching.
By increasing range of motion, we increase the distance limbs can move before damage occurs to the muscles and tendons. Think about the lower back muscles used when picking up a child from the floor. The more flexible and pliable those muscles are, the easier it is to bend forward before a strain or injury occurs.
Increased flexibility through stretching can help prevent the effects of fatigue by taking pressure off the working muscles. For every muscle in the body, there is an opposite or opposing muscle (biceps and triceps working together). If the opposing muscles are more flexible, the working muscles do not have to exert as much force against them.
Other benefits of regular stretching include:
Reduce aches, pains and tight muscles and joints
Reduce the susceptibility to soft tissue injuries like muscle and tendon strains
Improve sport performance
Develop body awareness
Improve relaxation and stress relief