To understand how, we must first start with the fact that it takes fewer calories to hold a contraction than to release it. I realize this can be counterintuitive because of our experience using muscles while working out, but the usage of a whole muscle is different than what is happening in the different parts of the muscle. In a muscle fiber, the contracted state is held static until energy is used to break the bonds. This means that it is more efficient, which for our definition means requires fewer calories. So, if the body can hold a part of a muscle in this contracted state and then leverage it, using the muscle more like connective tissue, to perform the movement then there is greater efficiency.
This is why proper form is essential to gain the greatest benefit from your exercise and also how massage can help to ensure that you are using the most amount of the right muscles. Knots and ropeyness are restrictions in muscles that hinder your ability to use the whole muscle, since part of it is already in the contracted state. Consistent therapeutic massage can identify and address these restrictions before they have a negative impact.
The frequency you should have this type of massage depends on how quickly your body develops these muscular contractions. A good guideline for a healthy body is to receive massage every 4-6 weeks. This interval typically provides the therapist with the ability to detect the restrictions and to release them before they develop into requiring more aggressive types of massage.
This is the reason we designed our Massage Rewards Membership to include a monthly 60 minute massage.