Benefits of Massage

Massage has a number of benefits affecting you physically, physiologically and psychologically.

It can help maintain the body in generally better condition, prevent injuries and loss of mobility, cure and restore mobility to injured muscle tissue, boost performance and extend the overall life of your sporting career.

Physical Effects

Pumping

The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels.  By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind.  This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.

Increased tissue permeability

Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through.  This helps remove waste product such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.

Stretching

Massage can stretch tissues that couldn’t be stretched in the usual methods.  Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways.  Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, releasing any tension or pressure build up.

Break down scar tissue

Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can disturb muscle, tendons and ligaments.  This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.

Improve tissue elasticity

Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic.  This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements.  Massage  helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.

Opens micro-circulation

Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise.  What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enable nutrients to pass through more easily.

Physiological Effects

Pain Reduction

Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain.  Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the bodies endorphins.

Relaxation

A complete muscle reflex relaxation experience, through the use of my hands and fingers to generate heat, pump, stretch and manipulate your muscles with circular pressure rotation.

Anxiety reduction

Fear, anticipation and worry all contribute to the physical reactions the body experiences when hit with psychological charged feelings.  The fight-flight or freeze response kicks in, adrenalin rushes and blood pressure rises to prepare for action.  Through massage the effects of relaxation are induced and so reduces anxiety levels and also lowers blood pressure and heart rate.

Invigorates and improves moods

The manual manipulations of the body cause the feel-good hormones serotonin and endorphins to be released into the bloodstream, elevating moods, while lowering the body’s level of cortisol, a stress hormone, considerably.  Massage therapy also stimulates pain blockers and reduces the feelings associated with chronic pain.  If a massage is done with brisk movements such as what is done before an event then this can produce an invigorating feeling.

Promotes Energy

While massage can be very relaxing, the brisk movement of certain massage strokes can energise the client and increase concentration and mental acuity.

Increased relaxation

Most people find massage very relaxing.  Tight muscles are rubbed, relaxed and loosened.

Headache relief

A lot of people suffer from headaches and migraines brought on by the stress of our fast-paced lifestyles.  Often, migraines are triggered or exacerbated by stress and poor sleep.  Studies have shown, people who regularly received massages had reduced stress levels and better quality of sleep, which resulted in fewer headaches and migraines.

Improves quality of sleep

Massage therapy helps to alleviate muscle pain, discomfort and spasms, while also reducing stress levels, which promotes better sleep.

Increased blood flow

When a muscle has become injured, increased blood flow to the area helps speed healing.  Massage therapy dilates or opens blood vessels, restoring the flow of fluid, oxygen and other nutrients to the injured area.  Massage accomplishes this without increasing metabolic waste products that would normally occur with muscle contraction.  In many cases of injury, massage therapy can decrease the amount of time it takes for a muscle to properly heal.

Increased range of motion

In any injury and with chronic poor posture, range of motion can be decreased due to muscles that are short and tight or have built adhesions within them.  The body’s normal response to an injury is to try and lay down scar tissue in order to stabilise the area.  This scar tissue will later cause decreased range of motion and other painful issues.  Massage therapy breaks adhesions and lengthens muscles, thereby helping to restore proper range of motion.  The full and fluid range of motion is necessary to maintain joint health.

Decreased pain

Massage therapy has the ability to help decrease pain for many conditions, including lower back pain.

Massage therapy helps by blocking pain signals that originate within the musculoskeletal system from reaching the brain.

Massage also helps move metabolic waste products, such as lactic and carbonic acid out of the muscle.  These products generally build up within muscles after muscle activity and are responsible for the cramping and discomfort felt after stressful activity.

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  zane@gojumassage.com