The Benefits of Massage
Why should you have a sports or remedial massage?
Massage for recovery and injuries
Deep massage can stretch out the muscles by stretching all the tissues in lots of directions. This can help maintain or improve the range of motion of the muscle of joint as well as reducing muscle tightness and tension.
Scar tissue within the muscles can be broken down by massage. This improves muscle function by allowing the tissues to glide more freely over each other, or by allowing a joint to regain it's full range of motion. Techniques to loosen or improve an area of fibrous tissue can stimulate blood flow and the bodies natural healing process to repair the area. The act of massage breaks off small parts of the fibrous adhesions so they can be easily absorbed back into the blood stream and removed from the body. When massage is done in the recovery phase after an injury it can stop scar tissue from forming in the first place.
After an event or hard training session massage will stretch the muscles, align muscles fibres, remove some of the waste products and support a faster recovery.
Massage for health
Massage is a positive stimulus for the central nervous system. It can calm, relax the body and the tissues within it to reduce pain and stress. This means that problems related to stress; for example digestion, sleep and muscle tension, can be helped by massage as the nerve receptors respond to touch in a positive way. Research has shown the regular massage can lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Circulation of blood within the body can be helped by massage. Stroking up the muscles towards the core of the body help to return the body to the heart and stimulate blood supply. Blood supplies the muscles with chemicals needed to function and repair themselves as well as removing waste products so massage stimulates and helps these processes. During this process massage also squeezes, releases and stretches the walls of the blood vessels which helps keep them flexible and at their normal size and functional ability. The same process can happen to the tissues that surround various different fluids in the body; where massage can help maintain or improve their flexibility and keep the pores open so fluids can flow to where they are needed.
Massage strokes can also assist the Lymphatic system, even more so as it has no equivalent of the heart to pump the lymph around the body. This system absorb excess fluids in the body and return it to the lymph nodes for toxins to be filtered out. This system is usually kept moving by muscle contraction, so massage is especially useful if muscle movement it less than usual due to injury or illness to overcome the effects of gravity.
Massage of the abdomen can aid digestion and stimulate the muscles in the digestive tract and the flow of food through it. It can also help to break down blockages in the large intestine and relieve constipation.
Human touch is very powerful, so the simple process of paying someone attention and touching them in a calm, positive and caring way can be very beneficial. It can relax and calm or stimulate and re vitalise the mind and body of the person being treated.