The sun is finally here, spring has arrived; time to spend ‘hours’ in the garden. It’s a race against the clock, the rain may arrive again tomorrow and the grass needs mowing, the trees and plants need cutting back. Your back is protesting but your green fingers say GO! Its possible that you may use muscles those haven’t been worked in a while and now have to overwork to dig out the weeds and turn the soil.
Those muscles are now ‘sore muscles’, your back is stiff and your lower back pains, but your garden looks great!
How a massage can help you
Massage can be beneficial before or after a gardening session. If you should find yourself with painful muscles/joints because of gardening, massage therapy can provide a reduction in back pain, (including lower back pain), neck aches, shoulder pain, joint pain, overused or sore muscles.
As a preventative measure a massage before can reduce the chance of injury. If you can have a massage before a strenuous day of gardening, you can minimize the soreness by increasing the circulation to the muscles and loosen the joints.
If the massage takes place after the gardening extravaganza, then treating specific trouble spots may include releasing trigger points to relieve soreness and return the muscle to full function. The deeper pressure of deep tissue massage coupled with acupressure can be a welcome relief to iron out the knots and help release lower back pain.
How to help yourself
- Warm up with light movement or a brisk walk to loosen your muscles and increase your flexibility. The smooth coordination of your muscles and ligaments is an important part of safe exertion in gardening and avoiding aches and pains.
- Know your strengths and limitations. Do not overexert, vary your activities, and take regular rest breaks.
- Avoid bending over repeatedly while standing upright when performing ground-level work like weeding. Get closer to the task by kneeling or sitting on the ground or a gardening bench, rather than bending and twisting from the waist.
- Keep your back protected when you stand up from a sitting or crouching position. Rise up by straightening your legs at the knees, not by lifting your torso at the waist.
- Lift dirt and plants by letting your arms, legs and thighs carry the load: bend and straighten at the knees instead of the hack and hips. Lift the load close to the body’s torso and handle smaller, more manageable loads at a time.
- Use long-handled tools to give you leverage and help avoid having to stoop down while raking or digging
So if you feel like you would like to ease the tension of your post-gardening muscle soreness, book in a massage session. The feel good ‘pain’ is a light relief and a release for your body. Relax with a deep tissue, swedish and acupressure blend, with relaxing lavender and lemongrass to send you to a sublime state of relaxation.