Massage and Fitness: A Complementary Coupling, MASSAGE MagazineCertain things just seem to go together as if they were made to be that way. When this happens, we often call it complementary or harmonious. A great example of this would be the harmonious partnership between fitness and massage therapy.

Though different in many respects, fitness and massage therapy fit together in a way that can help to create lasting good health, both mentally and physically.

You can think of the pairing of massage therapy and fitness like two sides of the coin of our overall well-being. The image can be a helpful one, because all too often people seem to focus solely on the fitness part when it comes to boosting well-being. This is a mistake, though, because it ignores the necessity of balance that is the key to success in so many aspects of life. This is where the complementary coupling of massage therapy and fitness comes into play, for the massage therapy side of the coin is what helps to balance out the fitness focus in a person’s life.

Broken down to the most basic understanding, fitness usually involves quite a bit of movement and action, which is often intense and can be stressful to the joints, bones, muscles and other systems of the physical body. Massage therapy, on the other hand, is typically quite passive for the person on the massage table. Instead of working to stress and challenge one’s body, massage therapy aims to relax and help heal the physical form.

Once you have grasped these basic differences between massage therapy and fitness, it should be fairly clear how the two of these pursuits can complement one another. To put this understanding in action, we can take a look at an example of a person who enjoys training for races. These might be marathons, where the person is training to run many miles, or it could be a triathlon of some sort, where the participants are not only expected to run but also perform other fitness based actions such as swimming and biking.

For such a person, whom one might call an athlete, training can be quite intense and take place many days in a row over long periods of time. There is no question that this kind of fitness can place a strain on the body’s muscles, bones, joints and other physical systems. Without a regular massage therapy appointment, such an active athlete could run the risk of an overuse injury of some kind, which could put him or her out of the race and press pause on fitness for an unknown period of time.

Not wanting to take that risk, such an athlete would be wise to balance his or her fitness passions with the rest and recovery offered via regular massage therapy appointments.