by Paul Dexter, copyright dextertraining.com
Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy and is a system of stroking, pressing and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body. Massage does much more than create a pleasant sensation on the skin; it also works on the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to improve muscle tone. Massage also stimulates blood circulation and assists the lymphatic system (which runs parallel to the circulatory system), improving the elimination of waste and lactic acid throughout the body.
Besides the relaxing and stress relieving effects of massage, it can have drastic improvements on your workouts. Massage has been proven to improve muscle recovery after intense workouts, and in effect increase muscle strength. Some other lesser known benefits are; flexibility, lowering blood pressure, decreasing anxiety, and increasing the immune system.
Combining massage therapy with your exercise program is an excellent way to maximize the stress relieving benefits of exercise, as well as improving physically, mentally and spiritually.