Can You Massage Your Way To A Healthier Body?
Elite athletes and supermodels are among those making targeted massage techniques a part of their routine. Should we all be following suit?
Massaging your way to a better body might sound like a pipe dream, particularly if you’re envisaging gentle treatments by candlelight. But targeted techniques like myofascial release (honing in on contracted muscles and connective tissue, stretching and restoring motion), deep tissue massage and lymphatic drainage have become central to the routines of elite athletes and supermodels alike – Brazilian lymphatic masseuse Flávia Lanini was flown in to prep the Victoria’s Secret Angels before the 2018 show – and they deliver serious results. Add to this the fact that massage has long been a core pillar of wellbeing in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and the premise becomes more compelling. So, how does it work? What are the best techniques? And crucially, what results can you expect to see? Read more: The Best London Day Spas
Why it works: “By releasing fascia, muscles slide into place, so you can use breath work to reconnect the tissues and realign the body,” says Jacobs.What to use: “Opt for a long 90cm medium density roller for larger muscles, to help with realignment and rebuild strength, and use smaller myofascial balls for targeted areas like the obliques, hip flexors and feet,” says Roxburgh. The how-to: “There are two techniques – either a constant pressure, where you relax into the roller or ball until you feel a release. Or a rhythmic rocking which is great on stubborn areas,” says Jacobs. The top tip: “Roll towards the heart,” says George Ashwell, performance coach and therapist at TwentyTwo Training in London. “As this will help to drain any inflammation or toxins away.”