Massage Purpose and Benefits
Massage Therapy is a valid way of improving your life. It is beneficial for you in so many different ways. It is a method that knows no gender, age or race. Touch is an essential part of all our lives. No matter who we are we can benefit from the powers of positive touching or therapeutic massage.
Massage Therapy can influence the health of people of all ages in a positive fashion. Babies and seniors can benefit from massage therapy. The sense of touch is more than a sensation. It is greater than a mere laying-on of hands or casual stroke. Massage therapy is a means of maintaining and improving your health.
Massage therapy, depending upon the type, is either directed towards a specific injury or body part, e.g. sports massage, or is more general in its scope. The purpose can also vary according to the practitioner and the client. It may be a matter of maintenance or an issue of rehabilitation. Yet, overall, the purpose of Massage Therapy remains the same – to promote and maintain a healthy body balance.
PURPOSES OF MASSAGE THERAPY
The following are specific and basic purposes of Massage Therapy. They cover a variety of functions and intents:
- Relax the body e.g. tight muscles and tense joints,
- Remove stress and anxiety from your mind
- Stimulate circulation of blood and lymph to help improve various physical operations of the body
- Help the immune system function at its best
- Abet recovery or rehabilitation time of ill or debilitated patients
- Improve overall health
- Reduce and/or relieve pain -chronic and otherwise
- Remove stress
- Create or reinstate homeostasis (optimum health)
Massage Therapy produces a number of different benefits for the body and the person who inhabits it. These are not New Age babblings. Research provides support for several of the claims. Admittedly more scientific studies need to be undertaken to provide further data, but to date, university research and studies made by the National Institutes of Health provide some validity to support the following:
- Regular massage can increase weight gain among infants exposed to the HIV-Aids virus.
- Patients after abdominal surgery have a quicker recovery time if they receive regular massage.
- People suffering from hypertension show a decrease in their blood pressure after Massage Therapy sessions.
- Sufferers of migraine headaches have a decrease in pain with a massage treatment system in place.
Increasingly research studies are beginning to support other benefits attributed to Massage Therapy. These include the following:
- Improves digestion
- Reduces or lowers blood pressure
- Releases pain killing chemicals – endorphins
- Balances hormone action
- Improves blood circulation
- Increases lymph flow
- Abets muscle relaxation
- Increases the range of motion for muscles and increases the flexibility of joints by lessening tension and stiffness
- Reduces instances of joint and musculature swelling
- Helps muscles and joints, sprains and injuries heal faster
- Reduces the chance and extent of scar tissue formation
- Mitigates stress and anxiety
- Reduces pregnancy tenderness and discomfort
- Introduces essential oils into the skin
- Reduces dependency on medicine by providing an alternative pain management system
HOW MASSAGE THERAPY WORKS
The massaging of the surface skin, muscles or affected part has several diffuse and related impacts upon the functions of the overall body systems. By applying therapeutic massage techniques, the practitioner increases circulation away from a specific inflamed or affected area. This, in turn, decreases the strain and tension on the affected parts. The result is a decrease in pain.
At the same time, rubbing the affected part or parts assists in draining the excessive or excess fluid built-up in the system or area. This also reduces the tension on the body part. The muscle or joint, therefore, also regains some of the lost mobility. While Massage Therapy cannot claim to actually increase muscle strength, it does stimulate the weak and atrophied muscles and joints. This, in turn helps to improve circulation and improves the range of movement.
By rubbing the skin, the practitioner also helps to release endorphins. Endorphins are the feel good, pain killing chemicals in the body. As massage releases the endorphins, the patient feels a decrease in pain. As a result, he or she can relax. They can get more sleep. Bodies heal best when the patient is relaxed and inactive. By inducing endorphins to act, massage therapy increases the ability of the body to heal itself.
Overall, massage affects the autonomic nervous system by soothing the nerve endings of the skin. In doing so it helps to calm down the entire body. It also affects the lymphatic system. Lymph surrounds every cell in your body. Lymph is responsible for supplying nourishment. Lymph system also carries away waste products. When lymph returns to the heart, it brings with it the waste products, viruses and bacteria from the cells through the lymphatic vessels.
The system contains filters or lymph nodes. These purify the contents so they can then return clean to the heart to start the process over again. Massage makes sure there are no knots or blockages to the process. Massage also stimulates the production and flow of lymph.
Many illnesses are emotional or result from stress. Heart disease is one medical problem, for example, directly linked to stress. Massage Therapy soothes the body and the mind. In doing so, it relaxes the person. It thus reduces stress and removes or decreases the feelings of anxiety, worry and even depression.
There are many instances when you can use Massage Therapy as part of an overall Complementary and Alternative Treatment (CAM) system. These include the following:
- Reduced peripheral circulation
- Lymphatic congestion
- Muscle spasms
- Tension e.g. headaches
- Anxious states of mind
- Flaccid musculature
- Back ache
Some practitioners also claim the following problems or medical issues benefit, either directly or indirectly, from Massage Therapy.
- Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Digestive and gastrointestinal problems including diarrhea and constipation
- Myofascial pain
- Before you decide whether to treat your illness, check with both a reputable and licensed
- Massage Therapist and your doctor. Make massage part of a compatible CAM system.