Originally Published On 1/13/2021
Massage therapy has been around for many decades. Most of us know and enjoy the benefits of a good massage already, although we will explore this further later in the article.
Aerial yoga, on the other hand, is a relatively new practice and has gained popularity more recently. It is an offshoot to traditional yoga practices and brings added dynamics and benefits.
As much as one has been around much longer than the other, these two forms of body wellness practices share plenty of similarities. Both practices can help to boost flexibility while increasing your range of motion.
Furthermore, aerial yoga and massage therapy are excellent stress relievers. If you’ve been thinking of using aerial yoga and massage, then you are on the right path.
Read on to learn how you can combine aerial yoga and massage for body therapy.
Health Benefits of Aerial Yoga
As much as aerial yoga provides a full-body workout, it doesn’t mean that it’s only reserved for those who are strong, slender, or naturally athletic.
Anti-gravity yoga is for everyone!
Some of the health benefits of aerial fitness include:
- Increased body strength: As noted above, aerial yoga is a full-body workout. It entails holding your body weight in a suspended position for extended periods. As you do this, you will be working out your upper body, back, hips, thighs and other areas of the body. If you’ve never done such forms of exercise before, aerial yoga may appear intimidating or hard. But with focus and determination, you will eventually master the various aerial yoga poses. And with time, you will notice increased body strength, which can help you in your day-to-day chores.
- Enhanced flexibility: Another amazing benefit of aerial yoga is increased flexibility. Just like traditional yoga, suspending your body using inversion slings will make you more flexible. And the importance of increased body flexibility cannot be underestimated. Being flexible helps to minimize muscle soreness while reducing your risk of muscle injury. So, if you engage in activities like jogging, running, hiking or other physical activities that require muscle flexibility, then you should incorporate aerial fitness workouts in your training.
- Great cardio workout: Cardio workouts are important for a healthy heart. Consequently, a healthy heart reduces the risk of strokes, heart diseases, and heart attacks. And this is where weight-bearing exercises like antigravity yoga come in. Yoga swing workouts provide a low-impact exercise, which combines stretching, strength training, cardiovascular endurance, thus working out all your muscles.
- Increased circulation: If your job involves standing all day, you may experience sore feet, low back pain, and neck stiffness at the end of your shift. Also, prolonged standing can cause blood and fluids to pool in your legs, leading to swollen legs. By suspending your body upside down using aerial yoga swings, anti-gravity yoga will help to move around the stagnant blood and fluids in your body thus helping to boost circulation while alleviating swelling, back pain and other issues that arise from prolonged standing.
- Healthier and stronger joints and bones: As you grow older, your bones will start to lose minerals and bone density. And this may eventually lead to osteoporosis. Hence, it’s extremely important to keep your joints and bones healthy, especially after the age of 30. Fortunately, aerial yoga positions can help you to strengthen your joints, muscles and bones. And unlike high-intensity exercises like running or cycling, you will not be putting too much stress on your joints, thus helping to minimize the risk of joint injuries.
- Ease back pain: If you are a waitress, a nurse, a cook, sales floor clerk or other similar occupations, your spine may become compressed and tight, leading to back pain or even loss of mobility. Hanging upside down on an aerial yoga hammock will allow your spine to gently decompress, thus allowing oxygen, synovial fluids and nutrients to move in, thus easing the pain, stiffness and discomfort.
As you can see, yoga swing workouts can benefit your body in many ways. But before you start performing these poses, make sure you first learn how to hang on aerial yoga swings, to ensure you are doing it right. Joining a class for aerial yoga for beginners can help you to master the various poses and positions.
Health Benefits of Massage Therapy
If you are experiencing muscle soreness, muscle tightness, fatigue, or pain, deep tissue massage may provide you with the relief that you need.
Deep tissue massage comes with physical and mental benefits that include:
- Stress relief: Stress is a common feature of our lives. And as much as stress can push you to achieve something that you thought was impossible, too much of it can lead to depression and other health issues. Fortunately, deep tissue massage can help you with all your stress-related issues. During a massage, your body will release oxytocin, which helps to relax the body and give you peace of mind.
- Pain relief: Deep tissue massage can also help to alleviate chronic pain. Recent studies show that people who receive massage regularly experience lesser pain issues, compared to those who don’t go for massage sessions. Also, massage will help to relax stiff joints and muscles. So, instead of taking expensive pain medications or going for treatments, you should instead opt for deep tissue massage. It’s more cost-effective and doesn’t have side effects, compared to medicine.
- Breaking up scar tissue: People with scar tissue may sometimes experience stiffness and chronic pain in the affected areas. Fortunately, massage therapy can help to break up that scar tissue by boosting lymphatic circulation and improving circulation. Once the scar tissue has cleared, you will enjoy an increased range of motion and less pain.
- Reduced arthritis symptoms: Arthritis is a common problem among senior citizens. If not properly managed, it can prevent you from moving around. While most people turn to conventional treatments, non-invasive treatments like massage therapy can also help to alleviate symptoms of arthritis. Applying light or moderate pressure to your joints can help to ease tension and reduce arthritis pain, thus making it easier for you to move around.
- Rehabilitating injured muscles: Massage therapy is an effective treatment method for sports and fitness-related injuries. So, if you have injured muscle, a massage therapist can help to stretch your twisted or tight muscles, thus helping to facilitate the movement of toxins out of the muscles.
Whether you are suffering from arthritis, you have muscle injury or you are experiencing chronic back pain, deep tissue massage can provide you with much-needed relief – among other benefits.
Combining Aerial Yoga and Massage
You can never go wrong by incorporating aerial fitness workouts and deep tissue massage into your overall fitness program. Both aerial yoga and massage therapy can help to oxygenate and detoxify your body, thus increasing overall blood flow and promoting good health.
However, you may be probably asking yourself how you can combine aerial yoga and massage therapy together, and the answer will depend on your fitness goals.
Getting a Massage before Aerial Yoga
Going for a massage before you head out for your aerial yoga sessions will boost blood supply to your muscles and lengthen the outer layer of your muscles. Also, it will help your joints and muscles to relax, thus allowing you to stretch more during yoga trapeze workouts.
A deep tissue massage will also warm your muscles, thus enabling you to maintain your poses longer. Deep tissue massage also relieves tension and boosts your focus, making it easier to remain alert during your antigravity yoga sessions.
As result, your aerial yoga sessions will be more productive.
Getting a massage before going for aerial yoga will enable you to identify areas of the body with muscle imbalances and weaknesses. So, when you are doing aerial yoga poses, you will know the areas where you need to stretch, strengthen and focus more. Also, it will help to minimize the risk of injury when doing those poses.
Deep tissue massage will also increase circulation to your muscles and warm them up, making it the ideal precursor to your aerial fitness sessions.
Furthermore, it will help to align and balance out your body’s muscle systems, thereby helping you to attain a complete workout.
Getting a Massage after Aerial Yoga
Similar to pre-yoga massage, post-yoga massage also offers numerous amazing benefits to your body.
First, massage will help to flush out the lactic acid that may have accumulated in your muscles during the yoga session. It will also help to increase lymphatic drainage from the muscles and increase overall circulation, leading to faster recovery from the soreness that you may get from your aerial fitness workouts.
Second, a deep tissue massage following your antigravity yoga session will go a long way in giving you a relaxing experience. So, if your goal is to attain maximum relaxation, then an aerial yoga session followed by a calming massage is just what you need.
Also, you will enjoy improved sleep quality by combining aerial yoga and massage.
Yoga Swings & Massage Are Complementary
Whether you choose to do aerial yoga before or after a relaxing massage comes down to individual fitness goals and personal preferences.
Regardless of how you do it, your mind, body and soul are all going to enjoy increased benefits from both wellness practices. We hope that you will start using these in combination to boost the health gifting properties of both activities.
However, there is one last way to combine the two, and that is as a physical therapist, rehabilitation specialist or massage therapy practitioner!
Using a yoga swing, yoga trapeze, or aerial hammock as a tool in massage therapy can provide clients with a unique and specialized experience that goes beyond traditional massage techniques.
These versatile devices offer numerous benefits for physical therapists and massage therapists, enhancing the quality and effectiveness of their treatments.
By incorporating aerial yoga equipment into massage therapy sessions, therapists can target specific muscle groups, increase flexibility, and promote relaxation in ways that are not achievable with conventional methods. One of the primary advantages of using a yoga swing in massage therapy is its ability to decompress the spine and alleviate pressure on the vertebrae.
With the client safely and comfortably supported in the suspended fabric, the therapist can perform gentle stretches and traction techniques. This helps to lengthen the spine, create space between the discs, and reduce compression, which can be especially beneficial for individuals suffering from back pain, spinal issues, or those with sedentary lifestyles. Additionally, the inversion-like positions achieved with the yoga swing can enhance blood circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the spinal structures.
Moreover, the yoga swing facilitates passive and active stretching in a way that is both comfortable and supported. Clients can relax into gentle stretches, and therapists can gradually increase the intensity as needed. This can be particularly advantageous for clients who have limited flexibility or struggle with traditional stretching methods. The gentle, yet effective, nature of aerial yoga equipment ensures that clients feel safe and secure during these stretches.
The yoga swing’s unique design allows therapists to work on specific muscle groups more effectively. By adjusting the height and angle of the sling, therapists can access areas that may be difficult to reach with traditional massage techniques. For instance, deep tissue massage on the hamstrings or glutes can be enhanced with the client lying on their back and their legs supported in the sling. This positioning allows for greater control and precision, leading to improved results.
Balance and proprioception are also heightened when using a yoga swing, as the suspended fabric challenges the client’s stability. This engages the core and stabilizing muscles, promoting improved body awareness and enhancing the therapeutic benefits of the massage session.
Additionally, therapists can incorporate rocking and swinging movements to induce a gentle, rhythmic motion that aids in relaxation and releases tension. The aerial hammock’s soft, cocoon-like structure creates a soothing and calming environment for the client. This can be especially beneficial for clients who experience anxiety or discomfort during regular massage sessions. The feeling of weightlessness and the gentle swaying motions can induce a sense of tranquility, allowing clients to relax more deeply and experience a heightened state of mental and physical well-being.
Incorporating a yoga swing into massage therapy sessions can also add an element of playfulness and fun. This can be especially appealing to clients who may be hesitant or apprehensive about massage therapy. The enjoyable experience can help alleviate any initial discomfort or apprehension, making the client more receptive to the therapeutic benefits of the session.
In conclusion, using a yoga swing, yoga trapeze, or aerial hammock as a tool in massage therapy offers numerous advantages for both therapists and clients.
The unique benefits of decompression, targeted muscle work, enhanced stretching, improved stability, and the calming environment contribute to an exceptional and specialized massage experience that surpasses the benefits of regular massage therapy without the use of tools.
Incorporating aerial yoga equipment into massage therapy practices can truly elevate the level of care provided, promoting overall health, relaxation, and well-being for clients. If you are a yoga instructor we encourage you to add aerial yoga to your offerings, and if you are a physical health practitioner we hope you will incorporate the yoga swing into your practice to assist your clients!