How Can I Benefit From Massage Even if I Don’t Have an Injury or Pain?
Massage therapy involves the manipulation of soft tissues of the body and is usually used to help alleviate the discomfort associated with injury or pain. Registered massage therapists (RMT) are specially trained to use massage techniques to treat muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints.
However, massage therapy can be used for much more than injuries and pain. By activating the parasympathetic system, massage therapy can help to induce a sense of calm and balance with the body.
This balance has innumerable benefits to the body, including the release of toxins, a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure and counteraction against depression and anxiety.
The Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has many benefits, even if you are not experiencing an injury or pain. Regular massage therapy can have a positive effect on your overall mental and physical health, creating a balance your body needs and craves.
The Parasympathetic Nervous System
Massage engages the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of your nervous system that conserves energy, slows the heart rate and increases digestive activity.
When our bodies experience a stressful situation, our sympathetic nervous systems are activated. Known as the “fight or flight” response, our brains release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline while we are in this state. The body responds to these hormones by tensing muscles, shortening our breath and increasing our heart rate.
Our parasympathetic nervous systems work to counteract the release of these hormones. Its role is to sedate the body and restore it to its resting state after a stressful situation.
The activation of the parasympathetic nervous system creates a calm throughout your body. Having this nervous system engaged can help you sleep better, increase your concentration, ease your anxiety and improve your mood.
Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
While the response of the sympathetic nervous system is supposed to be short-term, a surplus of cortisone and adrenaline can fatigue the body and affect the cardiovascular system. Over time, long-term stress can weaken the heart muscle.
Our hearts beat to a steady rhythm and, when it beats, it pushes blood through the arteries throughout the body. Blood pressure if determined by the amount of blood pushed out of the heart compared to the resistance it encounters. If the heart has to work harder to push blood through the arteries, then heart rate increases.
Massage helps to loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow. This improves the circulation of blood throughout the body which in turn leads to a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure.
Depression and Anxiety
As massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turns lowers the stress hormone cortisol, the brain begins to produce an increased level of serontonin.
Serontonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for our mood, which can be greatly affected when there is an imbalance. Low serontonin levels may lead to depression.
Anxiety is a feeling of fear or apprehension in response to a stressful situation. While these cortisol levels drop, and serontonin rises, the resulting sense of calm and relaxation can counteract the effects of anxiety.
When you have a massage, the blood flow throughout your body is stimulated. This stimulated flow of blood, as well as lymph, efficiently removes toxins and wastes.
While our bodies are equipped to eliminate toxins on its own, high levels of stress can cause the body to produce more toxins than its able to eliminate. Too many toxins can lead to health issues such as increased heart rate.
Improved blood flow provides adequate nutrition to our body’s tissues. Massage therapy creates physical stimulation that releases toxins into the increased blood flow, allowing the body to eliminate them properly.
Long-Term Benefits of Massage Therapy
The combination of vitality and calm created by massage therapy provides a sense of balance to your body. Our bodies are resilient, but they are not designed to cope with high amounts of stress for extended periods of time. While stress is necessary in our lives, our bodies need periods of restoration as well.
The benefits of massage work well beyond the massage table but for how long is up to you. If you take control of your relaxation and releasing of tension, the benefits of massage therapy will be longer lasting. However, if you find yourself in stressful situations on a continuous basis, you may find yourself requiring more sessions.
Regular massage treatments will ensure that this balance is maintained within your body. Over time, regular treatments will improve your physical state to the point where you will be able to better deal with stressful situations by having a calmer attitude.
Interested in massage therapy? Ask us about our Mobile Massage Therapy!