Therapeutic Aides For Fitness & Bodybuilding!

In this article, I will talk about common therapies that will help you recover from your training, relax your body/muscles and enhance your performances. Read it and relax!

Living a fitness lifestyle demands a great deal of commitment and organization in today's hectic world. Eating healthy, workout regularly and taking the right supplements is necessary in order to achieve your objectives and goals.

Many therapies are very beneficial when combined to your workouts and health oriented life regimen. I truly think that using an "integrated approach" of training will yield you the best results possible as a synergetic effect is created.

In this article, I will talk about common therapies that will help you recover from your training, relax your body/muscles and enhance your performances.

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This type of bodywork is great in relieving stress, muscle pain and spasm, headaches and help releasing toxins from the body. It promotes a deeper muscle relaxation by stimulating the lymphatic circulation, reducing inflammation and enhancing blood flow (circulation). Here are a few different types of massage:

-> Deep Tissue Massage:

Release muscular tension by using a greater pressure and by working on deeper muscle tissue. Can be painful at first if a lot of stress has been built up.

Best when applied right before or after a workout. Designed to enhance flexibility and ease muscle strain.

-> Swedish Massage:

Good for the relief of muscle soreness and/or swelling. Involved tapping, stroking and shaking to help the body relax.

-> Shiatsu Massage:

Oriental massages that mainly focus on acupressure points for the restoration of general health. Deep pressure is applied to specific areas (points) of the body and is said to unblock the "energy"(chi) that flow through the channels of the body.

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Chiropractic Adjustments
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By manipulating the spinal column, this treatment seeks to eliminate pain or others problems like misalignment. When the spinal vertebrae are improperly aligned healthy functioning of the body is impaired. You see, our brain sends impulses to the body via the spinal cord and if a vertebrate is not in place the nervous system can't operated as it should. By correcting these misalignments, the nervous system can function normally, the body can heal itself and eliminate pain.

Many chiropractors are also into sports medicine. They use heat and cold therapy, electrical stimulation, nutrition/supplementation and other alternatives (natural) therapies. Chiropractic manipulation is a proven treatment and is very beneficial in relieving low back problem, bursitis and other similar ailments.

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Being a certified foot reflexologist myself, I can tell you all about the benefits of this ancient therapy. The theory is that your foot is a map of your whole body. Each specific area of the feet represent a part/gland /organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes of the feet, reflexology relieves stress, increase circulation and promote the natural function of the body (homeostasis).

After a hard leg day in the gym, nothing feels better then have your feet/lower leg rubbed and stretch properly. People suffering from edema (water retention), pregnant women and anybody who works standing up all day, benefits greatly from this bodywork! Give it a try...

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Heat & Cold Therapy
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These techniques can significantly reduce pain and swelling when applied properly. They are very simple to use as well.

-> Heat:

This treatment enhances circulation and helps tame the tension accumulated in the muscles. Flexibility and mobility is facilitated by heat therapy. Note that heat therapy is always best when followed with ice/cold therapy to avoid static swelling.

There are many ways to increase the temperature of a selected area of the body: Hot baths/showers, hot water bottles, electric pads (caution with them), poultices and wet towels are a few forms of heat therapy commonly used. Always be careful when using any of these techniques. Fifteen to twenty minutes on is usually the way to go. Always follow with ice and stretch the area concerned. Never apply heat to an injured body part before it as been at least 48-72hrs.

-> Cold (cryotherapy):

Ice packs, crushed ice or gel packs are not expensive yet proven effective in decreasing swelling and pain resulting from sprain, strain or other injuries. Ice therapy should be used for the first twenty four to thirty six hours following such injuries. Apply ice for fifteen to twenty minutes at the time every hours or so when possible. Wrapping your ice pack in a towel before applying it to your body is recommended.

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Tens Unit
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By sending electric signals to the nerve endings, it is possible to decrease/stop pain before it reach the brain. Endorphins (natural painkillers) are said to be stimulated as well. A feeling of calmness is often felt when using this unit. Many chiropractors and doctors can provide you this type of treatment. Can also be prescribe by your health practitioner so home treatment can be possible.

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I love taking saunas! I feel so relaxed after. It is a great way to expel toxins from your body. By overheating your body you can speed up your recovery from training, reinforce your fat loss endeavor (burn more calories), work your cardiovascular system, strengthening your immune system, assist the release of GH and much more. Always be sure to proceed to the cool down after you are done with the sauna. Your skin will feel smooth and silky.

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Light Therapy
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Many people suffer from insomnia/sleep disorder, fatigue and depression during the winter months because of the lack of light. By using natural sunlight or some form of light therapy wich triggers the impulses that regulate most body functions, you can treat these disorders.

Full spectrum light , bright light and ultaviolet light are a few common therapy available to you. The use of herbs like St-John's wort, Kava Kava, Valerian and Gotu Cola are suitable to treat these kind of ailment as well and could be added to the light therapy of your choice!

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Chinese practice that is based on the belief that in order to be healthy and function well, the "chi" (energy of life) must be flowing freely through our body and be balanced. When this flow of energy is disrupted, pain and many other disorders can manifest themselves. Insertion of very thin needles at specific points that refer to the ailment to be treated, best describe an acupuncture treatment.

I had many acupuncture session done on me for a neck/shoulder pain. It is not painful like many think it is. In fact, after all the needles have been installed , you usually lay down and easily fall asleep... Be sure to get a certified practitioner that uses disposable needles!

I really hope you will try a few of the therapy listed above. They are beneficial to your health, enjoyable and a good ergogenic aid for your workouts....