Do you think of massage as an indulgence? It certainly feels like a treat, but it can also be a powerful tool for health and well-being — from easing pain and inflammation to soothing stress and anxiety. Find out about the benefits of massage and what’s in it for you.
Massage causes physiological changes in your body through:
- The relaxation response, which is an involuntary response of the nervous system to massage techniques and touch.
- Mechanical responses, which are physical effects that occur in the body when pressure is applied to the soft tissues.
Together, these responses can produce physical and emotional benefits.
During a massage, a caring, safe touch is an invitation to relax. This, together with pain relief, generally produces a relaxation response.
The relaxation response is a state in which your heart and breathing rate slow, your blood pressure goes down, your production of stress hormones decreases, and your muscles relax. The relaxation response also appears to increase the available level of serotonin, which is a chemical in the body that positively affects emotions and thoughts. The relaxation response may decrease the physical effects of stress and reduce the risks associated with stress, such as hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, anxiety, insomnia, persistent fatigue, sexual dysfunction, digestive disorders, and psychological issues.
The physical manipulation in massage has two major physical effects:
- Increase in blood and lymph circulation
- Relaxation and normalization of the soft tissue (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments), which releases nerves and deeper connective tissues
Massage is believed to improve blood and lymph circulation. This is thought to be due partly to the physical manipulation of soft tissue and partly to the chemicals released as part of the relaxation response.
Improved circulation can enhance the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells. As cellular health improves, tissues function more efficiently. More efficient functioning leads to the removal of waste products and may increase the absorption of excess fluids and reduce swelling in soft tissues.
Massage therapy relaxes muscle tissue, which reduces painful contractions and spasms. Massage can also reduce nerve compression. When muscles are contracted, they sometimes compress the nerves around them. When these muscles are relaxed, the nerves are no longer compressed, and, in theory, can get proper nutrients and operate more efficiently. The nerves can assume their normal work of transmitting messages to and from the brain, which improves functioning of the muscles and organs.
Massage is often used for specific reasons, such as relief from pain, stress reduction, or enhancement of athletic performance. But whether there is a specific goal or not, massage therapy tends to increase the general health and wellbeing of the recipient.
At European Massage Therapy School, our mission in the student clinic is to provide affordable massage therapy to the public in a professional setting. Our services are performed by experienced students under the supervision of licensed massage therapists and instructors with years of experience. Each massage is performed in a private, enclosed area.
Receiving a massage in our student clinic is a great way to give yourself the gift of wellness and relaxation! Call us today to schedule your appointment! (702) 202-2455 (Las Vegas) or (847) 673-7595 (Chicago/Skokie)