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Do the Benefits of Yoga Reduce the Need for Massage?

When I was stretching out yesterday, it dawned on me that I hadn’t had a massage in over two months!  When I’m running 3 or 4 times a week, my aching lower back and tight hamstrings beg me to go in for a massage about once a month.  I don’t think of massage as pampering because it’s usually somewhat painful.  Like exercise, I consider massage a part of my overall health plan.

I’ve still been running but only 1 or 2 times a week and not as intensely.  I have been lifting weights which makes me sore.  The biggest difference is that I’ve gone from doing yoga once a week to about 3 times a week.  My body hasn’t told me it’s time for a massage so it made me wonder if my yoga classes were slowly replacing my need for a massage or at least, lengthening the amount of time between massages.

yoga, massage, muscle pain, stretching, benefits of massage, benefits of yoga, midlife, midlife women

I did a little research about the benefits of massage on mayoclinic.com andbodybuilding.com.  Massage therapy:

1) Reduces pain and muscle tension.

2) Reduces stress.

3) Improves range of motion.

4) Reduces recovery time.

5) Increases muscle tone.

6) Increases flexibility.

7) Facilitates the elimination of lactic acid, toxins and other metabolic waste products.

8) Can create deep connections with the massage therapist because it involves caring, comfort and a sense of empowerment.

Then I researched the benefits of yoga also on mayoclinic.com and bodybuilding.com and found that yoga:

1)  Improves muscle strength, balance and stamina.

2) Can reduce stress, tension and blood pressure.

3) Improves range of motion and agility.

4) Makes it less likely that you will injure yourself in other physical endeavors.

5) Improves muscle tone.

6) Improves flexibility.

7) Improves circulation, digestion, decreases stored fat and stimulates your immune system.

8) Can enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being. Improves the mind/body connection. Can boost self-esteem.

The benefits of massage and yoga don’t match up exactly but it does give credibility to my theory that yoga is decreasing my frequency of massage visits. I like the idea that I can do something to heal myself versus going to a doctor, chiropractor or masseuse.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to completely stop massages but who knows?

Continue reading this post on Kathi Prien’s blog, Breaking 50

Kathi Prien

Kathi Prien grew up in rural Iowa and now lives near Des Moines with her husband, Kevin. She is mom to sons, Konner and Keller. Kathi worked in the magazine consumer marketing department of Meredith Corporation for over 20 years. Kathi enjoys running, reading, traveling, good friends, and good wine. She will become an empty nester in 2015. She launched her web site, <a href="http://breaking50.com">Breaking50t</a> in February, 2013 to celebrate the freedom and wisdom of post-50 life.

Kathi Prien

Kathi Prien grew up in rural Iowa and now lives near Des Moines with her husband, Kevin. She is mom to sons, Konner and Keller. Kathi worked in the magazine consumer marketing department of Meredith Corporation for over 20 years. Kathi enjoys running, reading, traveling, good friends, and good wine. She will become an empty nester in 2015. She launched her web site, Breaking50t in February, 2013 to celebrate the freedom and wisdom of post-50 life.

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kathi prien

Sunday 2nd of March 2014

I love massages, too, Kay but still haven't had one since November! I'll get one soon but I like that I don't have to get them as often. Thanks for writing, Kay.

Kathi

Kay Lynn

Saturday 1st of March 2014

I think yoga and pilates both reduce the number of massages needed. They're so nice I wouldn't want to eliminate them entirely!

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