Top 5 Benefits of Stretching for the Body and Mind

Top 5 Benefits of Stretching for the Body and Mind

Stretching is one of the most important things we can do for our body. You might think that stretching is just for runners, gymnasts, and professional athletes, but movement is a vital part of physical health. 

Your body needs to move. We aren’t designed to sit still all day, in an unnatural position, so it is hardly surprising that we end the working day stiff, sore, and aching. Regular stretching can help iron out the kinks and keep your muscles and joints flexible and strong. 

A good stretching routine brings with it a whole host of benefits. So let’s take a look at what stretching can offer you and why you should make it a part of your daily life.

Stress Relief

When we are stressed, our muscles respond. Both physical and emotional stress can result in tightness and soreness in our body, and relieving this can go a long way towards helping reduce the stress itself. Stretching helps you relax, and loosens up tense muscles, making it easier to feel calmer in mind and body.

Better Posture

All too often, pain and stiffness in our bodies is caused by poor posture. Most of us don’t sit properly, lift properly, or even sleep properly, so addressing our posture gently and naturally is super important. Regular stretching is a great way to do this. It encourages better spinal alignment, reduces the symptoms of bad posture, and eases the strain on your body, all at the same time. 

More Flexibility

For some of us, being able to touch our toes might seem like an impossible dream! But regular stretching can help you increase your range of movement enormously. Spending just 10 to 20 seconds light stretching every day is enough to get your muscles and joints moving, and have a noticeable impact on flexibility. 

Increased Strength

Stretching after exercise helps improve blood flow to your muscles, making recovery faster and more effective. A quick post-workout stretch allows you to get more benefits from the exercise itself, improving your strength along with your flexibility. It’s worth noting that stretching is a great way to improve your core strength too, which will improve your balance and control when engaging with many everyday activities.

Helps Mindfulness

You don’t need to go full yoga if you want to achieve a dose of inner peace from your stretches. Stretching offers a perfect opportunity to take stock of your body, concentrate on your breathing and the little aches and pains that you feel, and be a little more mindful. The simple act of taking time out of your daily life to do something just for you is a great way to add tranquility and calm to your routine. For this reason, a stretching session with a professional sports therapist is an excellent way to relax the body and calm the mind. 

Stretching is a simple exercise that everyone can (and should!) do. It helps you to relax and be calm, all while improving your athletic performance AND making day-to-day activities that little bit easier. 

If you aren’t sure where to begin, Healing Kneads offers great, short stretching sessions to help you get started. Get in touch today and we’ll be delighted to help!

Healing Kneads Massage

At Healing Kneads, we have an incredible new therapist, Thomas Allman, who specializes in sports massage. He has a passion for health and healing and has a wonderful massage style that combines Eastern and Western modalities, thanks to his experience as a certified yoga teacher.

Thomas is committed to making every client experience fantastic, going the extra mile to make our clients feel comfortable during every therapy session. As he puts it: ‘massage isn’t something I do to someone, it is something I do with someone.’

Book your appointment with Thomas today!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dealing With DOMS: How to Stop Feeling Sore After Working Out

Dealing With DOMS: How to Stop Feeling Sore After Working Out

There’s nothing like a great exercise session to make you feel energetic and cheerful, but we all know that a powerful workout isn’t without its downsides. No matter how sore or exhausted we feel after a gym class or a run, we know that we’ll likely feel even worse the following morning!

This strong, yet oddly satisfying pain is called DOMS – or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – and it is the bane of all athletes and exercise fans, particularly those who are starting something new.

Working your muscles harder than what they’re used to, or doing different exercises for the first time, causes microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. This is what causes DOMS and makes you feel sore and stiff in the hours (or days) following your workout.

DOMS can feel pretty awful, but it shouldn’t put you off your exercise routine! The answer to post-workout soreness is a good sports massage. And we don’t know about you, but any excuse to spend a little more time on the massage table is fine by us!

How Sports Massage Can Help

At Healing Kneads, we use sports massage on all kinds of athletes, and a wide variety of sports and exercises. It can be used to improve flexibility, prevent injuries, and enhance performance both pre and post-event, and best of all, it offers significant relief from DOMS!

Because DOMS is a natural part of strenuous exercise, it can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. But a good sports massage performed by a specialist is one of the best ways to minimize that post-workout soreness. It encourages the muscles to relax, reduces pain, aids your recovery, and helps your muscles rebuild.

The Best Techniques for Dealing With DOMS

Passive Stretching – Passive stretching is essentially assisted stretching. This is where the massage therapist uses specific techniques to increase mobility and flexibility of a muscle, or group of muscles. It is low impact and can be hugely beneficial in gently reducing soreness and relieving stress. Workout clothes can be worn during stretching sessions, which makes them perfect for those who are a little nervous about visiting a massage clinic for the first time.

Percussive Therapy – Percussive therapy sounds like it might be painful (it uses a massage ‘gun’!), but it can in fact alleviate the pain you’re feeling post workout. Percussive therapy uses rapid bursts of pressure on the affected muscles to encourage blood flow, speed up the recovery process, and reduce tension and inflammation. It’s an extremely effective and popular choice for those who experience regular soreness and stiffness after exercise. 

Deep Tissue Massage – Deep tissue massage treatments, like petrissage, kneading, or rolling, can be a great way of staving off the worst effects of DOMS. Warming up the muscles in this way before a workout can help prevent soreness later on.

Healing Kneads Sports Massage

At Healing Kneads, we have an incredible new therapist, Thomas Allman, who specializes in sports massage. He has a passion for health and healing and has a wonderful massage style that combines Eastern and Western modalities, thanks to his experience as a certified yoga teacher.

Thomas is committed to making every client experience fantastic, going the extra mile to make our clients feel comfortable during every therapy session. As he puts it: ‘massage isn’t something I do to someone, it is something I do with someone.’

If you are struggling with DOMS, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Healing Kneads – we’ll be delighted to help you through the frustration of post-workout pain!

Book your appointment with Thomas today!

We look forward to seeing you soon!