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Why Massage Therapy is Good for You
Massage is a pleasurable experience and as such it assists the mind/body mechanisms to produce endorphins, which are the body’s own natural pain relievers. The benefits of massage include:
The Skeletal System And The Benefits Of Massage
Although one is inclined to think that the bones in the body are not affected by massage therapy, this is not so. A tense muscle places the bone under substantial pressure or tension as it is being ‘pulled’ by the muscle. The ligaments that join the muscle to the bone are also tighter than they should be and very little circulation can get to the bony structures because the capillaries and veins are contracted, much like a hosepipe when it is squeezed.
Our body needs all the oxygen it can get and this is carried in the bloodstream through the veins, arteries, and capillaries. When massage takes place, the transportation of the necessary fluids is improved, either by removing toxins or by bringing fresh oxygenated blood to the body part that is being manipulated.
Joints And The Benefit of Massage
The skeletal system is made up of bones and joints. When the joints experience stiffness it is usually due to overwork, or possibly injury, which causes toxins to collect in the joints, leading to arthritis or gout. The removal of these toxins by massaging the affected joint can bring much relief to the sufferer.
Benefits Of Massage: Healing Touch And Muscles
Deep tissue massage and the effects on the muscles are the most obvious benefits of massage therapy; this is where we really get positive healing results for the client.
Muscles also act as shock-absorbers around our bones and joints. While the actual muscles are unlikely to suffer serious injury during day-to-day activities, they can become strained or damaged due to overuse, especially after strenuous exercise. Several hours after exercise, individuals may experience a condition known as delayed onset muscle soreness.
This is essentially a manifestation of pain due to micro tears in the muscle tissue. The muscle undergoes a biological process necessary for the repair and regeneration of muscle fibers, which brings with it a natural inflammatory response. Water retention associated with this inflammation puts pressure on sensitive pain receptors in the muscle.
Massage assists in relieving this pain by moving fluid through the body and thereby relieving water retention in the muscle tissue. The benefits of massage may also assist in reducing inflammation before it becomes extreme and dangerous.
Benefits Of Massage On Circulation
The benefits of massage improves circulation much in the same way that exercise does. When exercising, the muscles contract and relax to facilitate movement. This increases the blood flow, which in turn milks the capillaries and the lymph nodes, stimulating the removal of toxins from the body. The body responds to an increased blood flow by producing more red blood cells, which then carry fresh oxygen to the muscles —the immediate sensation is a heightened sense of wellbeing.
The Heart and the Benefits of Massage
When the circulation is increased the heart has less work to perform. That is, when the blood vessels and capillaries have been dilated as the result of the effects of massage, they require less effort to move the blood around the whole of the circulatory system. Increased quantities of oxygen are transported to all the cells and this increases the metabolic rate and results in healthier functioning of the cells.
The Lymphatic System
The vast lymphatic network is stimulated due to the benefits of massage than any other system in the human body. While blood is pumped around the body by the heart, the lymphatic system does not have the advantage of a pumping system. Thus the benefits of massage combined with exercise is the most effective method to get lymph fluid moving, which in turn helps reduce swelling and water retention.
The Nervous System
Gentle massage can and does soothe frayed nerves. When muscles are relaxed, the body is warm, pain is removed and the nervous system relaxes. So do we!
Skin And The Benefits Of Massage
The texture and lustre of the skin is enhanced when toxins are removed from the body and improved circulation is brought to the surface capillaries. The skin becomes elastic and can be nourished externally by the use of massage oils. The healthy glow that the skin takes on reflects improved circulation.
The Benefits of Massage on the Mind
People who are relaxed are able to think more clearly and more positively than those who are tense and stressed.
Rational decision-making is also made easier. The mind and emotions are better balanced in relaxed people as they benefit from rest, which helps to alleviate dull pain and sluggishness. It is a well-known fact that those who meditate have more clarity of mind and are able to focus more creatively in problem-solving and day-to-day activities.
The Benefits Of Massage And Lymphatic Drainage
All organs and muscles are bathed in a colourless fluid called lymph. Lymph fluid consists of nutrients, hormones, proteins and water from the body’s cells. Lymph nodes, situated throughout the body, act as filters to prevent infection by neutralizing bacteria, cancer cells and other infectious organisms. The effects of massage stimulates the lymphatic system by draining lymph fluid from the muscles. This fluid, containing toxins, passes through the lymph nodes and enters the blood stream; it is then filtered by the kidneys and any waste products are excreted.