This is a list of key benefits of therapeutic massage. We list the most important benefits, of massage as a healing procedure, and not as recreational. Massage is very underestimated as a preventative medical act, and this is probably one of the biggest misses of massage therapist, to emphasize the prophylactic value of bodywork therapies.
Massage therapy is not a procedure reserved to suffering people. Perfectly healthy people can get a massage, because the primary role of massage is to prevent disease and maintain the body in shape. As a prophylactic approach, massage therapy aims to prevent and combat disease or illness caused by the accumulation of professional, physical and intellectual fatigue.
What is Massage?
Massage is a manual or mechanical procedure applied to the skin and the deep tissue layers, for therapeutic purposes. Massage therapy can be part of complex treatments of disorders, and injury rehabilitation and along with physiotherapy can reduce pathological sequelae of certain diseases. The benefits of massage are numerous, but in this article we will list only 10 of them.
Massage improves blood and lymph circulation
Massage helps to activate circulation, the mechanical manipulation on the body, literally pumps the blood and lymph improving its movement. The lymphatic system acts as a carrier of waste in our body. Poor lymph circulation, or poor blood circulation, can be restored to normal operating levels by massage.
Massage stimulates and soothes the nervous and endocrine systems
If vigorously executed in a lively pace, massage will have a stimulating effect on the nervous system. By applying stimulating massage procedures, we encourage an optimal operation of the psychomotor functions.
Slow, gentle, and soothing massage maneuvers are particularly effective against excessive straining, mental tensions, pain, anxiety and stress. The relaxation effect and the removal of fatigue are obtained by relaxing the nervous and endocrine systems, balancing the levels of stress hormones, and releasing more hormones that induce wellness. The massage manipulations stimulate the production of endorphins, the brain chemical that produces feelings of happiness, and reduce stress hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine.
Massage increases joint mobility and flexibility
Usually, the articulations suffer of poor blood circulation, and articulation injuries are the hardest to heal because of that. Massage manipulations have a great vasodilator effect, and improve the blood circulation in joint capsules. This way injured articulations, tendons and ligaments, will benefit from an increased blood flow, more blood means more nutrients, more oxygen, faster healing and generally more healthy joints.
Massage increases muscle elasticity and contractility
Any form of massage helps to increase blood supply, consequently oxygen flow and nutrients to your muscles. This improves flexibility, muscle contractility and delay anoxia and accumulation of toxins which triggers glycolysis. By delaying anoxia and glycolysis we improve the muscle’s metabolism improving its efficacy and functioning.
Massage reduces muscle tension
Everyone knows that massage relieves pain and muscle contractures. The relaxing techniques have a relaxing effect, and the final outcome is the reducing of the muscle excitability and contractility. This is explained by the fact that massage increases blood circulation in muscles, and naturally produce natural opiates that relieve pain, encourage the muscle to relax, and eliminate the muscle contraction.
By relaxing certain spine muscles and bringing them to a natural state, massage is a natural back pain relief.
Massage improves skin’s condition
Certain massage techniques, produce hyperemia (redness), which allows the skin to regain elasticity and firmness thus preventing the physiological tendency of elastic fibers to progressively load with calcium, a process named keratinization. Skin’s look, feel and health are improved by the enhanced exfoliation of the horny tissue. The exfoliation furthermore stimulates the replacement of the skin.
Hair massage improves the health of your hair by activating blood circulation in the scalp, and by using massage oils that stimulate the hair follicles.
Massage helps to detoxify the body and improve immune system
By applying certain massage maneuvers the transport of fatty acids and cholesterol is improved, the nutrients exchange and the toxins elimination is stimulated, and the immune system is encouraged by stimulating the lymph nodes. Acting on the skin and sweat glands, massage increases fluid elimination and decreases stasis.
Massage burnes fat
Massage is known to facilitate lipolysis, (the breakdown of lipids), leading to losing fat mass. Body rubs maintain and develop connective tissue flexibility, combating excess fatty deposits under the skin and preventing them.
Massage is also very effective in fighting cellulite.
Massage promotes faster healing of soft tissue injuries
By increasing the quality of dermal collagen and elastic fibers, bodywork helps partial or total resorption of scar indurations.
Massage improves digestion
Massage effects are seen in improving digestion, diminishing of constipation and bloating and general easier elimination. Massage can have very fast action on an indigestion by either direct maneuvers on the digestive system, or by reflexogenic zones manipulation.