Alongside your massage, stretching is a great way to reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, tune into your mind and body and help reduce the risk of injury. It’s simply one of the most natural things to do. It is also the perfect antidote for long periods of inactivity and holding still, such as sitting at a computer for long periods. Below are some basic guidelines I give to my clients for effective and safe stretching:
- Relax and breathe slowly.
- Tune into your body.
- Focus on the muscles and joints being stretched and be guided by the feel of the stretch.
- Hold only to the point of where the tension feels good – no pain – and no bouncing, just hold still.
- When the tension starts to ease off take the stretch a little further to the point of good tension again.
- Breathe slowly and deeply until the tension starts to ease off again.
- Any stretch that grows in intensity or becomes painful means you are overstretching.
- If the stretch is causing pain and/or in another area of your body, then don’t do it.
- When stretching correctly, there should be no pain.