Massage is responsible for introducing physiological changes in the body through two main types of responses: The relaxation response and the mechanical response.
A relaxing massage calms down your breathing and slows down your heartbeat. This is referred to as a ‘relaxation response’. The relaxing sensation, in turn, boosts the level of a hormone called ‘serotonin’. Serotonin has a positive impact on our emotions and feelings. This is why one experiences an overall feeling of wellbeing during and after a massage session.
Massage therapy has a host of benefits to offer. Not only does it help relieve physical symptoms but it is also instrumental in relieving stress.
Massage helps reinforce correct posture and healthy movement. Poor posture causes some sets of muscles to work really hard while others become weak. Slumping, for example, not only looks unsightly but also increases pressure on internal organs and impacts the digestive system. Massage helps ease muscles that are strained due to poor posture. The body is then able to realign itself in a natural way.
Massage therapy boosts the immune system.
It helps to improve blood circulation and flow. The improved blood circulation helps enhance body functions and provides tired muscles with the oxygen-rich blood that aids internal healing. The rubbing, kneading, and pulling also helps blood to flow through congested areas and flushes out lactic acid from muscles.
A consistent massage therapy program can help reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure. It also lowers urinary and salivary cortisol levels besides alleviating anxiety and stress levels.
Massage helps improve range of motion and flexibility. We are more prone to muscle injuries today than say 50 years ago. This is not because we are exercising but because we are leading sedentary lives. Massage therapy works on muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues to improve natural joint lubrication. Regular massages can help stave off sports injuries as your flexibility levels improve.
Massage boosts deeper, complete, and relaxed breathing. Regular massage can help improve breathing which, in turn, has a beneficial effect on respiratory conditions. Massage works to loosen constricted respiratory tissues located at the front and back of the body.
Massage helps ease headaches. Consistent massage programs help relax trigger points and relax muscles. Massage also helps improve sleep quality and minimises distress symptoms, reducing the occurrence of headaches.
Massage therapy reduces anxiety and depression. It also has some effect on the experience of pain. It can’t necessarily reduce the immediate feeling of pain, but over the course of a series of massages, patients report lower overall pain.
Your body drains waste away from muscles and other tissue through the lymphatic system. This is far from perfect, and when it slows down, your body can be left feeling (and looking) puffy and unpleasant. This tends to happen overnight when the entire lymphatic system slows down, and it is also worsened by poor diet.
Fortunately, the circulation of lymph can be improved by manual manipulation – that is, by massage.