Stretching is an innate behaviour built into humans and other mammals - just take a look at a young baby or your pet cat stretching without ever needing to have learnt it. However as adults we don't stretch nearly as often as we could (or should), and considering that it's completely free and feels so good, we should be setting aside some time every day to do it!
But as well as simple daily stretches that we can do on our own, there are massage practices such as Thai Massage, Passive Stretch Massage and Stretch Massage Therapy where a licensed therapist will safely and effectively manipulate the client into positions that can give the greatest benefit. And speaking of benefits, here are our top 5 benefits stretching can have on the body:
- Improved circulation: Stretching tissue allows more room for blood vessels to expand which leads to more blood circulating to the organs, this supplies more oxygen and nutrition and better removes waste products.
- More space for nerves: When a muscle is contracted around a nerve this will create a mechanical pressure around it, and can constrict the blood supply. This can cause pain especially through nerves which pass through or near muscles such as the sciatic nerve. Stretching can help to create more space and therefore reduce discomfort and pain.
- Better flow of movement: When a body is well-stretched, less muscle power is used to perform movement - this is because it has less resistance from other contracted muscles, leaving us with a feeling of ease.
- Improved energy levels: Muscles tighten when we get tired and this leads to us feeling even more lethargic. Taking a short break in the middle of the day and performing a few stretches can do wonders to make our body and mind feel more alert.
- Stress reduction: A build up of stress can cause our muscles to contract and cause tension and a feeling of unease. However, a simple stretch can increase blood circulation, relaxing the body and even releasing more endorphins.
These are just a few of many benefits stretching has on our bodies, so don't delay - get stretching today!