Massage is the oldest and simplest form of medical care, outdating even Chinese acupuncture. It is a holistic and natural therapy which affects the body and mind without the use of harmful pharmaceuticals making it the perfect compliment to today’s busy lifestyles, especially if you engage in regular exercise.
Reduced Muscular Tension
Massage affects the muscles and other soft tissues throughout the body. It can loosen contracted tense and shortened and stimulate weak, flaccid muscles. Chronic muscle tension reduces the circulation of the blood and movement of lymph in an area and this is often alleviated with regular massage treatments. Tight, tense muscles are often the cause of other symptoms throughout the body e.g. tight neck muscles can show them selves as regular frequent aches.
Improved Blood Circulation
The oxygen capacity of the blood can increase 10-15% after massage. By indirectly or directly stimulating nerves that supply internal organs, blood vessels of these organs dilate and allow greater blood supply to them. Poor circulation (often felt as cold hands and feet) is improved after massage. A full body massage will increase the blood flow to both the core and extremities giving a healthful benefit to all of the body’s systems.
Better Lymph Movement & Lymphatic System Function
Lymph is the fluid that drains impurities and waste away from the tissue cells. Within this waste are the toxins which are the by-products of metabolism. Massage makes sure lymph is circulated through the lymph nodes for filtering which in turn can result in enhanced immune system function.
Increased Mobility, Flexibility and Range of Motion of Joints
Massage provides a gentle stretching action to both the muscles and connective tissues that surround and support the muscles. The gentle stretching of muscles keeps them in good condition, maintains the integrity of connective tissue and joint mobility is often enhanced. Joint and muscle pain is often reduced after a massage and specific joint/muscle pain can be targeted by a Sports Massage Therapist.
Massage Stimulates or Soothes the Nervous System
Massage balances the nervous system by soothing or stimulating it, depending on the techniques used and the effect that is needed by the individual at the time of the massage. A pre-sport massage can help prepare the body to perform at the highest level where as a Swedish massage will help calm and relax the body and mind. For many, a relaxing massage is the perfect antidote to a stressful day at work or the pressure of a hectic modern lifestyle.
Improved Skin Condition
Massage enhances the skin condition by improving the function of the sebaceous and sweat glands, which keep the skin lubricated, clean, and cool. The use of special oils will enhance the condition of the skin further and the skin is exfoliated and moisturized during a massage treatment. Circulation to the skin is improved by massage which is seen as a slight reddening during the treatment. Increased blood flow to the skin encourages skin cell renewal and makes tired skin look brighter and healthier.
Better Digestion and Intestinal Function
By increasing blood flow, the digestive organs receive more of the life-giving oxygen they need to function effectively. Digestive discomfort is often relieved by massage, as is abdominal bloating and gastric upset. Swedish massage even includes an optional abdominal massage where the intestines are gently massaged through the abdominal wall which is designed to improve digestive system function and health.
Massage can promote recovery from minor aches and pains by improving circulation which is an essential part of the healing process. Massage also triggers the release of endorphins which are the body’s natural pain killers (related to morphine) which may result in lowered pain levels and a reduced dependence on pain medication. A treatment with a Sports Massage Therapist can save literally weeks by promoting fast and effective healing of serious and-not-so-serious injuries.