Blending massage therapy and fitness can be a wonderful way to take your wellness to a whole new level. After all, massage and fitness both aim to increase health, but they tackle the issue from different angles. Therefore, massage and fitness can complement one another and serve to further well-being by working together.

Before you can fully understand the harmony between massage therapy and fitness, it may help to look at each one individually and focus on the ways in which massage and fitness approach better health from different angles. Let’s begin with fitness, which is a word that can encompass so many concepts, from lifting weights and running miles to the ability to carry heavy items and move with grace and ease.

Fitness approaches the achievement of better overall health from an action-oriented angle. In other words, if you wish to boost your well-being through fitness, then you typically will need to get active in order to do so. For example, you may wish to improve your health by reducing the amount of fat around your waist. In this very common scenario, fitness might mean a combination of cardio sessions and a slight reduction in daily caloric intake.

Another example of the action-based nature of fitness might be the person who wants to have stronger muscles and bones. In this case, fitness might take the form of weight-bearing exercises, as well as a slight increase in one’s daily intake of calories, especially protein. Of course, these are only examples, and it is important to remember that fitness takes on a variety of forms, depending on the individual and his or her goals, as well as his or her biological variables.

As we turn our focus toward massage and begin to look at the ways in which massage aims to create better health, we will see that, unlike fitness, massage is a more passive path to wellness. This should not be too difficult to understand, as most massage sessions take place with the client relaxing on a massage table while the massage therapist performs techniques designed to help meet the client’s needs.

One example might be the client who comes in with aching muscles due to the active fitness regime she has undertaken in an effort to lose weight and improve her health. With massage, this person will be able to rest and relax while the massage therapist uses healthy touch to help relieve and heal those muscular aches and pains.

Here, you can really see the complementary nature of massage and fitness at work, for the massage session should help the client get back to—and stick with—her fitness regime, as the massage promotes muscle recovery between fitness sessions.

Another important point to remember is that both massage and fitness can contribute not only to physically better health, but also to greater mental and emotional well-being. Many times, people will feel less stressed and have more mental clarity following a fitness session, and massage can have similar effects as well.