It relieves tension and muscle pain
Massage promotes nutrition and development of the muscular system, stimulating circulation, the nervous system and cellular activity. A regular massage results in firmer and more flexible muscles. Massage also is an effective means to relax tense muscles, eliminate toxins accumulated in muscle tissue, and prevent muscle spasms. The blood supply to the muscles is proportional to their level of activity. It is estimated that blood runs through muscles that have been massaged three times faster than muscles at rest. Thus, a muscle fatigued by excessive work or exercise recovers faster after a massage session than through passive rest of the same duration.
Improves circulation and blood oxygenation
Massage affects the quality and volume of blood flow in the circulatory system. With the increased blood flow in the massaged area, cell nutrition and toxins elimination improves as well. Therefore, the heart’s workload is reduced due to an improvement in circulation. Under the influence of massage, the process of blood formation is enhanced, resulting in an increase in red and white blood cells.
Calms anxiety and depression
Do not underestimate the psychological effects of massage. You feel healthier, stronger and more energetic after a treatment. It has been shown that massage is an effective therapeutic tool to regain a positive self-image and to improve self-esteem.
Massage promotes the release of the hormone serotonin, which explains the effect of a positive mood. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter secreted in the brain by specialised neurons and regulates mood, hunger and sleep. It promotes a feeling of well-being and satisfaction.
Dopamine is another neurotransmitter that’s concentration in the blood is raised by massage. This is a neurotransmitter that helps control the reward and pleasure centres of the brain. Therefore, massage induces similar feelings of pleasure as sex, or having a glass of wine.
Improves sleep quality
Insomnia takes a huge toll on your energy, mood, and ability to function during the day. Chronic insomnia can even contribute to health problems in the long term, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
The involvement of serotonin in dreaming has been repeatedly demonstrated. Therapeutic massage is a healthy way to increase the level of these hormones to combat tiredness. In addition, serotonin is a natural way to produce melatonin, which causes a decrease in body temperature and positively influences drowsiness.
A study on back pain, conducted in January 2000 by the Touch Research Institute in conjunction with University of Miami School of Medicine e Iris Burman of Miami’s Educating Hands School of Massage showed that, along with a decrease in long term pain, the subjects who received massage experienced an increase in serotonin levels leading to improved sleep.
cortisol, resulting in lifted spirits and lower blood pressure. A review of studies that measured the stress hormone cortisol in people before and immediately after a massage therapy session found that the therapy reduced levels of cortisol of up to 50%.
Many people, that experience stress, believe massage relaxes and fixes minor discomfort. In some cases, they say it makes them feel younger and encourages them to pay more attention to their nutrition, to do more exercise and to adopt healthier habits.
These combined studies show the effects of relieving stress (cortisol reduction) and the effects of activation (increase in serotonin and dopamine) as a result of massage therapy in the contest of medical conditions and stressful experiences.
Relieves headaches and cervical
Massage decreases the frequency and severity of headaches caused by tension. An investigation by the University of Granada have found that a single session of massage therapy has an immediate effect on pain perception in patients with chronic tension headaches.
Most common headaches are vascular and muscular. Vascular headaches, a result of inflammation and constriction of blood vessels, typically occur with throbbing pain. Tension headaches caused by hard work, skipping meals, depression, anxiety or sleep deprivation, cause a dull and constant pain.
Massage can relieve both types of pain by relaxing tense muscles and relieving the pressure that they put on the nerves and blood vessels.
Along with many other muscles of the neck, the sub occipital group (muscles between neck and head) works overtime to keep the head balanced at the top of the spine. In particular, they initiate and control fine movements. These muscles have to be workaholics…They need to be relieved!
Activates and strengthens the immune system
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage increases the number of white blood cells in the body, which plays an important role in defending the body against disease.
Massage enhances immunity by stimulating lymph flow; the body’s natural defence and cleaning system.
Just one massage could help boost your immune system even if you are not sick.
When do we should avoid massage?
Massage therapy is not recommended if you are suffering from feverish conditions, recent trauma, ruptured muscles, unhealed wounds, infectious diseases, advanced varicose veins, infectious skin diseases, low blood pressure.
Always inform the therapist about any illness you may have, to ensure that a massage will be beneficial to you at this time.