Benefits of Massage
There’s no denying the power of massage. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen and lifestyle.
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress.
This translates into:
- Decreased anxiety
- Enhanced sleep quality
- Greater energy
- Improved concentration
- Increased circulation
- Reduced fatigue
- Deep relaxation and stress reduction
- Relief of muscle tension and stiffness
- Smoother skin and enhanced muscle tone
- Increased joint flexibility
- Blood and lymph circulation
- Relieves muscle pain
- Relieves headaches and migraine
- Relieves rheumatism and arthritis pain
- Corrects posture
- Relieves stress by balancing body & mind
Furthermore, clients often report a sense of perspective and clarity after receiving a massage. The emotional balance that massage provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits.
In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade throughout the body, with profound effects.
Research shows that with massage:
- Arthritis sufferers note fewer aches and less stiffness and pain.
- Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function and increased peak air flow.
- Burn injury patients report reduced pain, itching, and anxiety.
- High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones.
- Premenstrual syndrome sufferers have decreased water retention and cramping.
- Preterm infants have improved weight gain.
Research continues to show the enormous benefits of touch—which range from treating chronic diseases, neurological disorders, and injuries, to alleviating the tensions of modern lifestyles. Consequently, the medical community is actively embracing massage, and it is becoming an integral part of hospice care and neonatal intensive care units. Many hospitals are also incorporating on-site massage therapists and even spas to treat postsurgery or pain patients as part of the recovery process.
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Assist with shorter, easier labour for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
- Relieve migraine pain.
PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF MASSAGE
The joints / skeletal system:
Massage can help to increase joint mobility by stimulating the formation of synovial fluid. It helps to free adhesions, break down scar tissue and decrease inflammation. As a result it can help to restore range of motion to stiff joints. Massage improves muscle tone and balance, reducing the physical stress placed on bones and joints.
The muscular system:
Massage relieves muscular tightness, stiffness, spasms and restrictions in the muscle tissue. It increases flexibility in the muscles due to muscular relaxation. It relieves muscle fatigue and soreness by improving circulation, bringing nutrients and oxygen and removing toxins and waste products from the tissue.
The cardiovascular system:
Massage improves blood circulation by mechanically assisting the venous flow of blood back to the heart. Massage can dilate blood vessels helping them to work more efficiently. Due to increased blood flow, delivery of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the tissues is improved and the removal of waste products, toxins and carbon dioxide is hastened via the venous system. Massage can temporarily help to lower blood pressure, due to dilation of capillaries and the decreased heart rate due to relaxation.
The lymphatic system:
Massage helps to reduce oedema (excess fluid in the tissue) by increasing lymphatic drainage and the removal of waste from the system. Regular massage may help to strengthen the immune system, due to increase in white blood cells.
The nervous system:
Massage stimulates sensory receptors. This can either stimulate or soothe nerves depending on the techniques used. It also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, helping promote relaxation and the reduction of stress. Massage helps to reduce pain and elevate the mood by the release of endorphins.
Massage improves the circulation to the skin, increasing nutrition to the cells and encouraging cell regeneration. Increased production of sweat from the sweat glands helps to eliminate waste products through the skin. Vaso-dilation of the surface capillaries helping to improve the skin’s colour. Massage improves elasticity of the skin. Increased sebum production helps to improve the skin’s suppleness and resistance to infection.
The respiratory system:
Massage induces deep breathing. It also slows down the rate of respiration due to the reduced stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system Massage helps in moving phlegm up the respiratory tract and helps to clear nasal passages.
The digestive system:
Increased peristalsis in the large intestine helps to relieve constipation, colic and gas. Massage promotes the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates digestion.
The genito-urinary system:
Massage increases urinary output due to the increased circulation and lymph drainage from the tissues, helping to remove waste and toxins from the body. The womb being a muscle, massage may assist in the menstrual cycle by helping decongestion of blood.
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF MASSAGE:
Massage can help reduce stress and anxiety by relaxing both mind and body. It helps to create a feeling of well-being and enhanced self-esteem. Through relaxation, massage promotes positive body awareness and an improved body image. It can also ease emotional trauma. It helps to bring balance and harmony between mind, body and spirit.
Increase the Benefits with Frequent Visits
Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massages frequently can do even more. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for massage at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your therapist to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs, Knead me... offers 6 monthly and annual treatment packages.
When you need to be kneaded
Qualified & Certified Massage Therapist since 1999
Turkish Society of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Registered member of CNHC / Qualification verified by MTI, UK
(accredited as the leading bodies in complimentary & natural healthcare,
enforcing quality standards & regulations in the UK)