Massage is known for its’ ability to get us to relax and to help ease our aches and pains. It has been used for thousands of years as a health and wellness tool, but how does it work?
A caring touch applied in a safe manner can create a relaxation response in your nervous system. During a massage, your heart and breathing rates slow down and your blood pressure decreases. There is a reduction in the production of stress hormones and your muscles relax. Massage taps into the responses that the body produces after a stressful experience, when danger has passed and the body can recover. Some studies also show that massage can increase the level of Serotonin in the brain which positively affects our emotions and thoughts. It is a “feel-good” chemical.
In addition to the nervous response, the manual manipulation of soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia) has two major physical effects – An increase in blood circulation and the softening of muscle tissues.
Improved blood flow enhances the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to all cells. This can help with healing and repair as well as increased physical ability. The softening and lengthening of muscle fibres releases trapped nerves and built up toxins. This can have far reaching effects along neural pathways and through the whole connective tissue structure.
Numerous medical studies are investigating other claims and possible benefits of hands-on therapies and many scientists are now able to back up the anecdotal tales of those who feel that massage has changed their lives.
If you would like to discuss how I might be able to help you, please get in touch.