Can massage help posture? And what is it?
Let’s find out. Massage therapists work on your muscles and soft tissues, literally massaging them, in order to remove tension. They most often work on your back, neck and shoulders, but you could have massage for your feet, your fingers, legs, calves, whatever.
Massage therapists like to work with clients for long sessions, anywhere from half an hour to two hours, and generally hope to see that person for the rest of their life, whereas a Physical Therapist or Osteopath hopes to see a person a few times in order to fix their problem. Massage therapists are also less likely to prescribe additional exercises or lifestyle changes, although this does depend on the practitioner.
Unlike other manual therapies, massage also aims to relieve stress, and it can be a very pleasant experience. Some massages are more akin to aromatherapy with soothing gentle strokes, or the placement of hot stones on the back to provide comfort. If you asked people who’d used those, can massage help posture, the answer would probably be no. But other massages could be described as full-on and uncomfortable. For example Thai Massage tends to be quite unforgiving! And in answer to the question, can massage help posture, in that instance I’d be likely to say yes!
Massage therapists may have spent as long in training as Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physical Therapists, but tend to be seen as having lower qualifications and having less requirement for certification, and for this reason the barriers to entry as a massage therapist are lower.
My experience, however, is that a good sports masseur is every bit as capable and effective as any other manipulative therapist, and the long sessions are just great for flattening you out and helping you improve your posture. Just be sure to find a good massage therapist, and one who specialises in sports, thai, swedish, or any of the other strong massage sessions.
So it’s important, as with all therapists, to choose a well-qualified person, preferably with a recommendation from a friend or colleague.
HOW CAN MASSAGE HELP POSTURE?
I’ve worked in tandem with a few massage therapists, and the vast majority of them have been brilliant. In fact, even as an Alexander Technique Teacher (we do good posture and less tension for a living) I still enjoy a massage once every couple of months or so.
A massage is a great way to get flattened out, moan about life’s problems, and relieve some of the stress of everyday life. It can leave you feeling taller and moving more easily. Can massage help posture? Yes, I heartily recommend it.
I’d go so far as to say everyone should have a good massage once every couple of months.
This can easily be in addition to Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Osteopathy or Alexander Technique if you already go to them. Just be sure to find a good one!
A FINAL NOTE ON MASSAGE FOR POSTURE…
Massage is a great way to unwind. The stress-relief you can enjoy is good for letting go of tension. And I relate tension and stress to bad posture. So, as long as you can find a good massage therapist, I’d go for it. It’s my personal favourite for getting ironed out. I guess the only downside is the time a cost, coupled with the fact that you have to go in-person for your sessions, of course.
My recommendation is that you could use this as a good choice from the available Posture Therapies, for your 5 ways to fix posture.
Bye for now,