Massage is a holistic therapy. It has an effect on the body, mind & health.
Massage increases the circulation of blood and flow of lymph. The direct mechanical effect of rhythmically applied manual pressure and movement used in massage can dramatically increase the rate of blood flow. Also, the stimulation of nerve receptors causes the blood vessels to dilate, which facilitates blood flow. This has a profound effect on one’s health.
The following are a few of the key effects of massage:
Reduced Muscle Tension– Massage affects the muscles and other soft tissues throughout the body. It loosens contracted, shortened, and hardened muscles. Massage can stimulate weak, flaccid muscles. Chronic muscle tension reduces the circulation of the blood and movement of lymph in an area.
Improved Blood Circulation– The oxygen capacity of the blood can increase 10-15% after massage. By directly or indirectly stimulating nerves that supply internal organs, blood vessels of these organs dilate and allow greater blood supply to them.
Better Lymph Movement– Lymph is a milky white fluid that drains impurities and waste away from the tissue cells. A component of these wastes is toxins which are by-products of metabolism. Muscular contraction has a pumping effect that moves lymph. Massage and exercise both help to move lymph.
Increased Mobility and Range of Motion of Joints– Massage provides a gentle stretching action to both the muscles and connective tissues that surround and support the joints in the body. This helps keep these tissues more elastic.
Stimulated or Soothed Nervous System– Massage balances the nervous system by soothing or stimulating it, depending on which effect is needed by the individual at the time of the massage.
Enhanced Skin Condition– Massage enhances skin condition by improving the function of the sebaceous and sweat glands, which keep the skin lubricated, clean and cool.
Better Digestion and Intestinal Function– Massage increases the body’s secretions and excretions. It increases the production of gastric juices, saliva and urine. There is also an increased excretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, and salt. As a result, the metabolic rate increases.