By: Allison Cumberbatch, RMT
Throughout my career as an RMT I’ve tried various health trends to keep in shape. The only trend that stuck with me was yoga. How it moves. How it motivates. How it calms and how we can benefit from it physically, mentally and psychologically. I love yoga for many of the same reasons I love massage. I’ve been an active participant in yoga throughout the years and I’ve come to rely on it, I even incorporate it into my practice as a registered massage therapist.
Even before I start a massage, I focus with my client on their breathing. This is a great way for the client to become connected to their environment as well as aware of what is happening in their body. Doing this first creates the initial sense of relaxation for their treatment. Calm breathing helps relax the mind which helps to relax the body, this is a way practicing yoga helps improve a clients massage experience and results.
Ever shiver when it’s cold? That’s your body trying to improve its circulation to keep you warm. Before starting yoga I like to use massage to warm up my body’s tissue, this helps prevent injury when changing positions. Massage increases blood and lymph circulation, which allows healthier, oxygen-rich cells to repair old or harmed tissue from previous trauma or injury. Try massaging your muscles before a yoga class and see how much better each pose feels!
When it comes to flexibility yoga is the star pupil. But massage helps by boosting flexibility. Through joint mobilizations and passive stretching your overall flexibility improves, which can help progress yoga practice.
I recommend including yoga in treatment plans for many of my clients. Yoga can help with mindfulness, calmness, strengthening key muscles, plus helping to improve posture and balance. Different kinds of yoga can help with different issues so take time and find what’s right for you. It’s not an overnight fix, it takes time and practice.
After yoga, massage provides a relaxing experience while keeping muscles from becoming too rigid this helps prevent spasms and injury to the body. Massage in itself can have mental and psychological benefits but by combining massage and yoga you can enjoy enhanced benefits of both including stress relief, an improved sense of self-awareness, personal comfort, and an improved quality of sleep. (Don’t worry, to RMTs snoring is always a HUGE compliment.)
Allison Cumberbatch has been a registered massage therapist since 2011 and has worked as an RMT in hospitals, clinics and spas. She focuses on the importance of relaxation and specializes in Swedish and deep tissue massage techniques along with craniosacral therapy. For more information about her services please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-312-9381