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The Importance of Massage and Its Benefits for Your Dance Body and Feet!

Ever wake up with an ache or pain, can't remember how it happened, and then trace it back to yesterday's practice? You know, the one with the crazy new trick, new tango snap or perhaps just some new technique you are not used to? "I should do something about this terrible feeling," you say to yourself. That's where therapeutic bodywork comes in.

Massage & corrective exercise can have great benefits for dancers. Firstly, a great deal of tension tends to accumulate in your body from the vigorous training that is required for competitive dancing.  That tension serves as an impediment to the dancer's ability to fully express themselves on the dance floor: releasing that tension becomes paramount.  Stretching and foam-rolling can help; however, nothing is quite as effective as a skilled manual therapist when it comes to releasing musculoskeletal tension.  The radiant energy emanated from the hands, coupled with a precise anatomical knowledge and the focused intention of a qualified practitioner, can release deeply held tensions and unwind fascial ties in the body giving the recipient a profound, psycho-somatic healing experience.  This experience comes from both a deep systemic relaxation activated through the bodywork, along with a possible shift in holding patterns.  To better understand how this may occur we must have a clearer understanding of what fascia is. 

Fascia is a gelatinous, connective tissue that runs continuously throughout the entire body, ensheathing every muscle and organ along its path.  This connective tissue is what ultimately gives the internal components of our bodies their shape, by holding everything in its place.  Furthermore, this connective tissue has viscoelastic properties, which basically means, it can be manipulated when heated.  This is what allows a well-trained bodyworker to essentially remold your body; by applying sustained pressure in a very specific manner, the body reaches a new set point and tends to remain there after several sessions.  This is one friend's comments after receiving a deep myofascial release, "It's as if I have a new body"!  Which makes sense: feeling rejuvenated, the body is rife with a new sense of awareness and freedom, new ways of expressing yourself become clear and possible, this may also be due to the emotional release often experienced after a deep bodywork session.  It's now a known phenomenon that emotions, as well as emotional traumas, can, and often are, stored in the body, manifesting themselves as: holding patterns, chronic tension, and trigger points throughout a person's physiology.  When these maladies are properly released, people often experience: deeper sleep, greater mobility, and more springiness in their bodies as a result.     

After a particularly hard session or a competition, deep therapeutic bodywork can provide with relief you need increasing your resilience and enhancing your overall well-being so you can return to doing what you love sooner. 

Secondly, there are often times when you wake up after a workout and the soreness is from more than just a new technique. Perhaps you were practicing a new trick that you put into your rumba routine and all of a sudden you hear a pop from behind your knee or you were practicing a new position in smooth or standard and you felt a rip in your back. For these serious injuries you may need physical therapy. Physical therapy allows a trained professional to help you rebuild your muscle strength using various methods including corrective exercise. Corrective exercise is an exercise program which takes into consideration your specific shortcomings and imbalances.  Several assessments are conducted and based on the results, a dynamic program is designed to systematically: reduce the tension in overactive muscles; lengthen chronically shortened muscles, which prohibit you from moving efficiently; activate under-active muscles; and integrate all of those components by challenging the body with dynamic and functional movements to capitalize on all of the interventions previously made.  Athletes from all backgrounds report less injuries, as well as greater strength and resilience after adhering to a corrective exercise regimen.    

The worst thing a dancer can do is ignore an injury. This could make the injury worse. It also leads to increased recovery time. For example, instead of a two week recovery time for a strained back muscle, you may be looking at a six week period. Although six weeks may not seem like a long time, for a dancer, it is too long to be off the dance floor. Champions never quit working hard, except when they are injured.

So, you may be wondering, "Who do I call if I need a massage or if I injured myself and need to do some corrective exercise to properly rehabilitate my muscles and restore balance in my musculature?" The answer is Daniel BraverDaniel received his training as a massage therapist from the College of Health Science at the Swedish Institute. He also holds a bachelor of science in pre-med from SUNY and is certified as a NASM personal trainer with a Corrective Exercise Specialization.  His extensive knowledge and background in the field make him particularly effective in treating sports related injuries as well as any sports related pain. Daniel specializes in deep myo-fascial release. 

This type of manual therapy has been shown to free up restrictions in the body, thus increasing blood circulation, enhancing detoxification by the movement of the lymph, as well as nourishing cells with freshly oxygenated, vitamin-enriched blood. All of these benefits will improve your ability to perform at your highest capacity.

If you are feeling sore and achy, or your body is just not in the zone, make an appointment with Daniel Braver for a treatment. He will help your body get its groove back!




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