Maintaining Healthy Soft Tissue

After helping clients to restore the health and balance of their soft tissue, the next important question that comes up is often related to maintaince.  Scheduling a massage proactively or before pain and stiffness becomes compensatory (and difficult to manage) is key.  Postural awareness, stretching and a solid fitness plan are equally important in maintaining healthy soft tissue.  An ideal time to start a stretching and fitness program is after a massage or series of massage sessions.  Here are some things to consider:

1) Any mix of strength, cardiovascular and flexibility/stability/balance training will help you build lean muscle mass, improve the health of your soft tissue, reduce stress and increase your energy levels. Does your routine provide a good mix of all of these?

2) Functionality: is your fitness activity helping you to function with more energy, less tension, and less pain in your work or daily activities? Does it challenge you appropriately and allow you to improve your strength, stamina, mood and pain/stiffness levels in your work and daily activities?

3) Scheduling: is scheduling a factor in your ability to committ ? Are you and/or your exercise partners keeping committments? If not, perhaps it’s time to re-prioritize.

4) Convenience: can exercise be squeezed into your day and lift you up wrather than drag you down?  If not, it’s time to get creative.

5) Social , “fun factor” or “zen factor”:  does the activity meet your need to escape, be with friends/family or be inspired by a group or trainer?  These are important motivating factors.

6) Pain/ injury risk:  do you have injuries or conditions to work around? How supportive is your trainer/ activity / environment?

7) Nutritional Support: is your fitness plan supported by proper pre-workout and post work-out nutrition and a balanced healthy diet?  Nutrition can not only affect your performance and energy levels, but it can definitely play a role with pain, inflammation and stress levels in the body.