It’s the season of giving and love, with the promise of a brand New Year just around the corner. And while I concede we’re *technically* supposed to be thinking of others, I submit that one of the best gifts we can give to others is to maintain our health and longevity. If you’re thinking, “blah, blah, Scott. We know. We’re supposed to exercise and eat healthily,” you’re partly right. But there’s another gift you might want to consider springing for because of the amazing benefits it offers. I’m talking this week about sports massages and other techniques of myofascial release, including cupping. Here’s why I think it’s a gift you’ll be grateful you splurged on.
What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release therapy is defined by the Cleveland Clinic as a type of “gentle, constant massage that releases tightness and pain throughout your myofascial tissues.” The myofascial tissues are strong, fibrous, but thin connective tissues essential to supporting and protecting the bones and muscles in your body. There are several types of myofascial release.
A sports massage is a type of massage that targets specific muscle groups in the body. Sports massages are focused and systematic and deserve to be considered as one part of your overall health and fitness regimen. The reason? According to Licensed Massage Therapist Naomi Clark, Founder of Dynamic Body Mechanic in Burbank, too many of us focus on maximizing energy output with little regard for the need to refuel.
“We’ve been programmed to adhere to a ‘can’t stop won’t stop’ mentality and lifestyle. We’re fed the lie that rest is for the weak, and if you’re not giving 100% all the time, then why bother? This is not sustainable in any way by any means and will only encourage injury. We all need breaks,” Naomi says.
Sports massages offer a reprieve from this endless output by recharging our bodies the way we might recharge our EVs. “We need to look at our bodies as the wonderful organic machines that they are and treat them as such. Just as you would do preventive maintenance on your vehicle, we need to do the same for ourselves. This means fueling ourselves with nutrient-rich foods, proper rest, and bodywork that is congruent with your goals.”
Despite erroneous myths that persist, cupping is not some new-age therapy with questionable benefits. On the contrary, cupping may be the oldest myofascial release technique in history. It has been in use since at least 1500 B.C. Today, cupping remains a useful technique for releasing pain and tension. Naomi often recommends cupping with myofascial release to target specific pain sites.
“If you don’t decide to create the time to rest your body, eventually your body will decide for you,” Naomi says. “Rather than waiting for an injury, it’s smart to be proactive about necessary rest and release. Both cupping and myofascial sports massage provide the rest, and the reboot that your muscles and tissues need, to prevent an injury,” she explains.
Resolve to Take a Smart Approach to Health, Fitness, and Wellness in 2023
Knowing that intentional rest is just as important as intentional exercise should remain top of mind in 2023. To that end, it’s not too late to decide that 2023 will be the year that you transform your body and your life, no matter your age.
From increasing flexibility to improving balance to methodically building muscles, the New Year offers 365 fresh days to focus on your health and well-being. Whether you join a gym, sign up for a fitness challenge, try out personal training, or graduate from weekend warrior to bona fide gym rat, be sure you plan to recharge, to rest, and to rejuvenate with therapies such as myofascial release.
About SY Performance
SY Performance offers in-person and hybrid training at The Victory Stronghold, located at 519 S Victory Blvd in Burbank. SY Performance was founded by Burbank-based celebrity personal trainer Scott Yonehiro. Yonehiro created and launched the first “90-Day Body Transformation Program” in 2010. To date, thousands of individuals have completed the program, which utilizes a proprietary combination of science-based techniques coupled with fitness, nutrition, and mindset exercises to help individuals of all ages lose weight, reduce body fat, and increase muscle.
About Dynamic Body Mechanic
Licensed Massage Therapist Naomi Clark provides myofascial release treatments including sports massage and cupping at The Victory Stronghold in Burbank.