Massage: More Than An Extravagance
Massage Therapy-How it works
Some may consider massage just another way to unwind and beat the stress of the work week, but there are many advantages to this therapy. Massage is a way of touching the body to relieve pain. The massage therapist will typically use their fingers to knead, stroke, or apply pressure to different parts of the body. The body responds to massage in two diferent ways: mechanical response and a relaxation response.
A mechanical response is the body's reaction to the movement of muscles and soft tissues being manipulated in the massage. Manipulation of the muscles can help improve circulation, in part by the actual movements of the muscles, and also due to a chemical reaction which occurs during massage. Increased circulation helps speed healing.
If a muscle is injured, it may be affecting a surrounding nerve. Massage removes pressure from that nerve allowing the nervous system to function properly. An entire aray of health benefits are seen from a healthy nervous system.
Some of the mechanical benefits of massage are:
- Alleviating muscles/nerve pain
- Allowing the nervous system to function optimally
- Increasing the range of motion to a particular joint
- Reducing scar tissue and stretch marks
- Increasing circulation which speeds healing
A relaxation response is an involuntary response to touch in which your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, the release of stress hormones decreases, and your muscles relax. As your muscles relax, your mind relaxes.
Stress affects the body by triggering a combination of chemical reactions which prepare the body for "flight or fight." The process of relaxation helps bring the body back into alignment/balance. The alleviation of stress brought on by massage can have many positive affects:
- Lessen depression and anxiety
- Relieve migraines
- Reduce stress
- Increases energy and focus
- Creates a feeling of well being
Massage has a wonderful impact on the body. When done properly, by a trainer professional, It is not just an extravagance, but a useful and powerful tool to promote a healthier body.
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