Photo Credit: Blissful Balance RMT
When your muscles feel sore from rehearsals or a night of social dancing, nothing feels more heavenly than a body massage. While most people think of body massages as a bi-monthly or monthly indulgence, it’s beneficial for anyone who engages in intense physical activities like competitive dancing and even social dancing.
Apart from being offered at luxury spas and health clubs, massage is also provided in clinics, hospitals, even airports. It’s no longer perceived as an indulgence but rather an essential because of massage therapy’s many health benefits.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is a method of manipulating, pressing, and rubbing the skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments to alleviate pain and promote relaxation. The manipulation of the muscles and skin varies from light and quick strokes to deep and slow pressure. Massages come in many types; some are designed for people who love gentle massages, while others use deep, long strokes and kneading to relax tight, aching muscles.
Types of Massage Therapy
- Swedish Massage
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Lymphatic Massage
- Sports Massage
Swedish massage, AKA full body massage, is a gentle type of body massage. It utilizes long, relaxing strokes and kneading in slow circular motions to soothe and relax tired, aching muscles. On the other hand, deep tissue massage uses slow and deep strokes to massage the deeper muscle layers and connective tissues. It’s often applied to heal injured muscles.
Lymphatic massage utilizes gentle, long strokes to drain the lymphatic nodes of fluids and eliminate toxin buildup from the body. Sports massage focuses on painful muscles to minimize and alleviate injuries or protect the muscles from overuse.
5 Benefits of Massage Therapy Among Dancers
If you are a professional dancer, then you’re probably no stranger to muscle pain, stress and anxiety! Massage therapy happens to be an effective treatment for specific muscle pains while promoting relaxation and better mental health. Here are some of the many benefits of massage therapy to dancers:
Soothes back pain: There are many reasons why many dancers suffer from back pain, you could be wearing the wrong dancing shoes, you're not taking breaks in between rehearsals, or you're simply feeling fatigued. Whatever's causing the pain, try getting a massage to reduce pain. Deep tissue massages and Swedish massages are known to ease lower back pain! In fact, the American College of Physicians Trusted Source lists body massage as a treatment for low back pain.
Neck pain: Just like lower back pain, neck pain is common among dancers. The constant upright position of a dancer takes a toll on the thick bands of muscles in the neck. This condition is caused by an excess extension, AKA dancer posture. Gentle massages help relieve piercing neck pain. If you suffer from constant neck pain, we suggest getting a 60-minute body massage once a week or a 30-minute massage twice a week.
Stress relief: A massage once or twice a month is an effective stress reliever. Body massages are proven effective in lowering the body's production of stress hormone cortisol while boosting the release of happy hormones serotonin. In addition, body massage also soothes anxiety, promoting better mental well-being. The majority of people who sought massages do so to manage stress and reduce anxiety.
Better flexibility: the relaxing strokes of a good massage helps improve a dancer’s motion movements, strengthening the muscle fibers and ligaments in the process. Massage also mobilizes the joints and ligaments, reducing tension and improving flexibility over time!
Better circulation: the muscles contract and relaxes as you move. The organ needs a constant supply of fresh, oxygenated blood to keep the muscle fibers working at their peak. Body massage boosts blood circulation while also promoting the absorption of minerals, particularly calcium, which improve bone health.
Massage promotes better general health, and this goes regardless if you’re a dancer plagued with muscle pain or an individual who simply wants to relax after a long day. Massage therapy is often applied to treat the following health problems:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Nerve pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
Of course, that’s not to say that a body massage can be used as a replacement for regular medical care. It’s essential to check with your doctor if you’re experiencing lingering pain from dancing. It’s normal to feel a little sore after a body massage the next day, but the pain shouldn’t be painful or uncomfortable.
A regular massage is a terrific treat for tired, aching muscles. And to save yourself from further pain caused by enjoying yourself a little too much on the dance floor, be sure to wear the right shoes! Yami dance shoes are not only stylish, they’re comfortable too. The secret is the cushioned insole, which absorbs peak impact with every step. Shop for our latest social dance shoe collection here and feel the Yami difference!