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If you look at the natural world around you, you’ll be surprised by what it can teach you about your own self-care. We can attune to the cycle of the seasons, letting that awareness bring a healthy balance of self-care measures into our lives. Spring, for example, is the season of new growth and is associated with movement, physical exercise, and activity.

So how can massage and bodywork best support us throughout the changing seasons? Whether literal or metaphorical, the seasons represent times of differing needs and preferences.

Spring is a time of growth and change, and naturally gives rise to the urge to become more physically active. The growing light and warmer days are conducive to greater movement, including therapeutic and recreational exercise. Bodywork that supports you in your exercise regimen can be useful in this phase and helps keep you motivated.

This is the natural season for sports massage, or techniques that address muscle soreness after exercise. Deep-tissue massage or orthopedic modalities can address specific muscle pain or tension. Getting work on trigger points or motor points of muscles helps them relax after exercise. Massage before exercise, using techniques of broad or specific compression, can help prevent soreness by warming and activating the muscles.

Many people find that massage in the early part of the day, while relaxing, can also be rejuvenating, helping them feel motivated to exercise. It also helps you feel energized and in tune with your body. Conversation during the session should focus on your specific needs. It can be useful to tell your therapist what kind of exercise you are doing and what your goals are as they relate to your physical activity.

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