Smutty Fitness: Massage benefits
I love your column, and among the many questions I'd like to ask, this one stuck out to me today as I cringed shelling out $$ for yet another lunchtime massage: are there really health benefits to getting regular massages? I practice yoga (vinyasa flow) regularly, and multiple instructors have mentioned massages as part of their health/fitness routine. Is there really a benefit, aside from the fact that it feels nice on tight/sore muscles? I'm not saying that I'll stop my addiction, but you might help me feel more justified in paying so much to be pampered.
I am a big believer in prehabilitation where you take control of your injuries before they become a problem, which is the step before rehabilitation. As you become active it is inevitable to discover that something hurts: knees, shoulders, hips, necks and backs can chronically plague us with aches and pains. Some of us resort to the pharmacy for relief but others, such as you, invest time and money into their body, doing things like yoga, Pilates, physiotherapy, massage and chiropractic care.
I understand your concern with the money that you are putting into the massage and unless you are dealing with an issue that needs treatment, I would say one massage a week is a bit overboard. I would recommend cutting it back to one massage a month, unless you discover an issue that needs immediate attention. It is important with prehabilitation that you stay on top of injuries so as soon as you feel something in your body that is causing pain, deal with it immediately so it does not fester into something serious.
Also, different injuries require different types of care as sometimes it is the skeletal system that needs treatment, or it’s the muscular system or it’s the nervous system (this is where acupuncture plays a role). Understanding what is happening in your body will help you determine what treatment you require.
Take a look at your extended health coverage as well because most health plans include coverage for treatments such as massage.
Sorry I cannot justify your need for a weekly massage. I know it feels wonderful but if you are not dealing with something specific you may be able to save a few pennies. However, if the bank account allots for a little pampering then why not?
Attached – Amber Rose goes for lunch after the gym.