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Benefits of Massage
Modern studies have shown that massage has many physical benefits including:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Improved circulation
- Stimulation of the Lymphatic system
Reduction of stress hormones
- Increased joint mobility and flexibility
- Improved skin tone
- Speedier healing of soft tissue injuries
- Heightened mental altertness
Massage is perhaps one of the oldest haling traditions, used by many cultures including; Chinese, Egyptians, Indians and Ancient Greeks. They understood the therapeutic benefits and use massage to treat a veriety of ailments.
Massage is the application of manual techniques to the soft tissue to mobilse them to maintain flexibility.
Massage is especially effective in breaking compensatory pain postures and patterns. An example – a tension headache is often self-sustaining because the pain makes the person clench the affected muscles even harder, which, in turn, creates more pain. A thorough neck and shoulder massage can reduce muscle tension and break the pain cycle.
My favourite Massage Therapist (who I only left because I moved 2500 klms away), gave me the best insight into how to describe massage therapy and the benefits of it.
He said “How many times in the life of your car do you get it serviced?”
My response “Lots”
He then said “ How many times do you get a body serviced? Your body is just like your car, needs a grease and oil change and some fine turning to keep it running smoothly!”
This conversation has stuck in my mind for many years and yes as a massage therapist myself, I undertake regular massages to keep my body and mind in it’s best running order.
Massage Therapy For Health
It may simply look like a lot of pressing and kneading on skin, but massage is actually a scientific process. The reason you feel different after a massage is because it is healing and invigorating tired, aching or injured muscles. Massage increases blood and lymph circulation. Lymph is a fluid that rids body tissues of waste, is dependent on the squeezing effect of muscles. An active person has better lymph flow than an inactive person. However, stimulation from vigorous activity can lead to increased waste, which can negate the benefit. This is where massage has a huge advantage. Massage can dramatically aid lymph movement, which together with blood, supplies nutrients and oxygen and rids wastes and toxins. It is easy to understand why good circulation is so important to our health and why massage can be so beneficial just for this purpose.
Massage & Sport
Massage plays a part in every form of sport or exercise. Unfortunately, many people believe aches and pains are an inevitable consequence to activity. But massage can actually reduce or eliminate what may appear to be exercise-induced pain.
It can increase endurance, control fatigue and help people feel better when used as part of a regular health program. Massage can also speed muscle recovery rates as it eliminates irritation from waste. By helping reduce fatigue and aid recovery, massage enables more productive training, with longer, more effective workouts. The ultimate spin-offs are better performance with fewer injuries. Exercise changes the way our muscles work. Blood vessels become more intricate as the body demands more oxygen and nutrients and increases waste elimination. This takes time. While the muscles are getting into shape, they can struggle to get enough oxygen and nutrients, so waste collects.
Massage & Injuries
Rehabilitation of any injury can be a tiring and frustrating process. While the main goal of physical rehabilitation is to increase strength and flexibility, it often ends before the area has been returned to its full pre-injury state.
Massage plays an important role as a supplement to standard injury rehabilitation procedures. By encouraging circulatory movement and relaxing muscles, massage helps the body pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs. This allows the rehabilitating injured area(s) to become more flexible and heal at an accelerated rate.