What is massage?
“Massage has been practiced as a healing therapy for thousands of years in nearly every culture around the world. It is one of the oldest forms of medical care. The ancient Greeks and Romans used massage as a primary form of medical treatment and the Chinese had documented the benefits of massage as far back as 3,000BC. ” Patrick Thompson from New Farm Physio Massage Central Business District Brisbane.
It is generally acknowledged that most of us will benefit from some form of massage; from Therapeutic, to help relieve stress and muscle tension, to Remedial to assist in stress, pain and injury management. Massage, whether Therapeutic or Remedial, is a therapy where the practitioner manipulates muscles and other soft tissues of the body to improve your health and well-being. The whole body is affected by massage, but it particularly influences the activity of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems. During a massage your practitioner will use specific techniques, ranging from gentle stroking and kneading of muscles and other soft tissues to deeper manual techniques, with the objective of stretching and lengthening muscles and connective tissues to help decrease muscle tension, relax the nervous system and improve joint mobility.
How Massage Benefits You
> Provides a feeling of deep relaxation and calm,
> Stimulates your skin and relaxes your nervous system, reducing stress both emotional and physical,
> Relieves muscle tension,
> Stimulates the flow of blood flow through your muscles,
> Enhances the oxygenation of your brain,
> Shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissue of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes,
> Improves your circulation and stretches your ligaments and tendons, keeping them supple and functional,
> Provides relief from pain, anxiety, and is a beneficial component in the treatment of insomnia
Massage and Stress
Although stress is considered a risk factor in many chronic diseases, it has many faces. It can be a positive motivator helping you to accomplish an important task. Stress may be temporary, such as being late for an appointment. However, it may also be chronic, caused by major long-term problems.
How you are affected by stress or even the stress itself isn’t automatically caused by a particular situation. It’s the way your body responds to the situation that causes stress. When the brain senses any kind of stress, your heart rate and blood pressure rise, and your muscles tighten. Short term this is not a problem, but long-term stressful situations have a detrimental effect on your body.
During long-term or constant stress your muscles remain in a tensed state, which leads to joint aches and pains, headaches, chronic back and neck pain and other symptoms. Also, circulation is increased to the heart, muscles and lungs causing suppression of our digestive and immune systems. The end result is digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, cramping, and bloating and decreased immune system activity, which increases the risk of colds, flus and other immune system diseases.
Current research indicates that lifestyle changes and stress-reduction techniques such as massage help manage stress. The role of massage is to relieve muscle tension and sooth your nervous system, which in turn will help return circulation to normal, improve immune system activity and help restore the normal function of your digestive system.