Benefits of Massage
The body can produce an unhealthy buildup of hormones when we're stuck in traffic or meeting a work deadline. Pent-up levels of the "stress hormone" cortisol can lead to sleeplessness, headaches and even digestive problems.
Massage has been shown to decrease cortisol in the body. This allows the body to enter a relaxing rest-and-recovery mode: an effect that lingers long after the massage is over. In fact, massage triggers a host of brain chemistry responses that can result in lasting feelings of relaxation, lowered stress and improved mood.
Improves Blood Circulation
Study showed that blood flow increased by 42 per cert following massage. Changes likely result from several factors: mechanical effects on the vasculature; local release of vasodilators (natural chemical that open blood vessels); circulatory changes resulting from reflex responses of the autonomic nervous system; and changes in blood viscosity.
Massage affects pain in several different ways
Massage can stimulate the brain to produce neurochemicals (endorphins and enkephalins), which is the body's natural production of anti-pain chemicals
Tissue ischemia, or reduced local circulation, results from sustained muscle contraction and fascial restriction. This reduces the blood flow and oxygen to the tissue in the constricted area, resulting in pain. Massage can break the pain cycle and eliminate the original source of the pain by increasing blood flow to the ischemic tissue.
Pain from muscle spasm can be reduced through massage techniques that can affect proprioceptors, such as movement of limbs, stretching and direct compression of tissue.
Massage can affect the processing of nociceptive firing by the peripheral nervous system.
Keeps Musculoskeletal System Healthy
Massage can relax muscles, decrease spasms, improve resting length of muscles, reduce trigger points, fibrosis and adhesion, improve posture, and increase flexibility and range of motion of body.
Promotes Respiratory Function
Massage therapy, including tapotement, joint play, and postural drainage and coughing techniques, has been shown to improve respiratory function and chest expansion and to clear mucus in respiratory pathologies. Massage therapy can also reduce the stress levels of those with asthma, in turn potentially reducing the frequency of attacks.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Several studies demonstrate that massage can reduce blood pressure.
Massage has an effect on circulation, though the effect is transient. Local circulation is temporarily increased, with local hyperemia observed and an increase in temperature palpated. When dystrophy is apparent, massage improve tissue health. Blood viscosity decreases. Blood pressure can be affected, and therefore, massage, using appropriate techniques, is indicated for cardiac and hypertensive clients, as well as for stress clients.
Strengthens the Immune System
Studies indicate that regular massage can naturally increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity–the activity level of the body’s natural "killer cells". Stress is also shown to decrease the immune response, resulting in susceptibility to illness. Massage reduces stress levels and improves immune function
Physiologically, massage can relax muscle, increase blood and oxygen supply to brain, and reduce cortisol level, which help relieve headaches.
Psychologically, massage is able to reduce stress, anxiety and depression and give the client a feeling of well being, which can reduce the chance and frequency of headaches.
Improves Rehabilitation after Injury or Post-Operation
After injury, the amount of fibrosis and adhesion in soft tissue develops, immobilization and denervation can be induced. Massage is able to reduce fibrosis and adhesion, and help increase innervation and mobilization. Massage also helps the body pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs. A continual massage program can accelerate the recovery process, as well as help you relax and stay motivated.
What Massage Cannot Do
Massage cannot increase muscle tone or muscle strength or bulk. Massage will also not directly decrease the amount of “cellulite” or adipose tissue. Further, with a permanent nerve lesion, massage will not prevent muscle atrophy in the denervated tissue.
Many private insurance companies cover treatment from a Massage Therapist as part of their extended healthcare plans. Please consult your policy.