Blessed are the flexible

. . .for they shall not get bent out of shape.

Flexibility is defined as the range of motion of an anatomical joint, which may be increased by stretching.

As we age, our joints tighten and we lose the range of motion we once enjoyed in our youth. One of the main reasons we become less flexible as we get older has to do with certain changes that take place in our connective tissues. As we age, our bodies gradually lose fluid and dehydrate.

As we age, our muscles tighten and range of motion is reduced. This can put a halt to active lifestyles and even hinder day-to-day, normal motions. Maintaining a regular program of massage and Yoga or stretching can help lengthen your muscles and restore more youthful activity. 

Loss of flexibility leads to other changes as well, like poorer circulation with a resultant reduction of oxygen in those tightened tissues.  As we learned last month, reduced oxygenation in the tissues lowers pH balance and creates an acidic environment that invites disease.

Therapeutic massage is an effective treatment for increasing and maintaining flexibility and motion. By working on muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints, therapeutic massage stimulates the production and retention of our bodies' natural lubricants between the connective tissue fibers, increasing oxygenation of the tissues and helping the body flush metabolic wastes, all of which make movement easier and improves flexibility.   Some of the benefits of therapeutic massage include:

  • Stimulating the production of the bodies natural lubricants to keep flexibility at a maximum
  • Improved posture and balance
  • Enhanced athletic performance as the body ages
  • Preventing injuries by keeping the body flexible

As we lose physical flexibility, we tend to also lose our mental flexibility.  By reducing the effects of stress, therapeutic massage increases our mental flexibility allowing us to be more open to new or different ideas, and adjust to a changing environment. Those who are flexible relish life's many twists and turns, ups and downs, ambiguity and uncertainty.

Additional benefits for those who are on a regular schedule of therapeutic massage include:

  • Improved immunity
  • Improved dexterity and fine motor skills
  • Improved attention span and concentration
  • Improved memory
  • Improved creativity and learning efficiency
  • Decreased pain
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced stress perception

How are you keeping stress at bay during these rough times?  Get on a regular program of therapeutic massage to ensure you keep and improve your flexibility and, thereby, your overall health.  Don't wait until your range of motion, flexibility and health are impaired.  Protect yourself now.

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