Your Pilates classes provide you with a method of physical conditioning to help increase flexibility and strength, improve posture and help manage long term pain. Along side this Pilates can offer you a complete mind-body experience where you are able to learn about your body and have time to relax and focus solely on yourself and your well being.
Sports massage has similar benefits, although working in different ways, and can be the perfect partner to your pilates class or any other exercise you are currently doing. It is a common misconception that massage is a luxury, when in fact it can be used as a vital tool for maintaining good health, both physically and psychologically. You do not have to be injured or be an athlete to benefit from the skills of a sports therapist! Let me explain further.
Sports massage increases heat and blood flow in the muscles, which in turn can help with flexibility. Tight muscles can cause issues with posture and result in pain, or injury. Massage can be used to release these areas of tension and have a positive effect on posture and injury prevention. By using massage to help increase flexibility and improve your posture, you may even see an improvement in your performance in Pilates classes. For example, Elephant:
The hamstring and upper back muscles are known for being tight and troublesome if you spend lots of time at a desk, driving, typing or using a phone. Elephant encourages posture correction for these areas of the body. Massage could be used to loosen the hamstring muscles, allowing you to get into a better position whilst performing Elephant. This way you would have maximum benefit and positive effects on posture, helping to reduce the risk of injury and prevent pain. As well as this, the increase in blood flow that massage causes can help remove any waste products in muscles that tend to build up and cause muscle aches and pains. The perfect reason to seek a massage after your pilates class!
Along side the physical benefits, massage also provides psychological benefits. Sports massage is known for releasing endorphins, these are known as ‘the happy hormone’. It is believed that the realise of endorphins helps with decreasing pain and putting you in a better mood. So, if you’re injured, looking to improve posture and flexibility or you would simply like to boost your happy hormones, book a sports massage!
Written by Siobhain Little, Sports Therapist and Class Instructor at Chilli Pilates. Siobhain works in Welwyn Garden City and Bushey.