Massage is an excellent therapy for people who suffer from muscular aches, pains and stiffness. By manually mobilising the muscular tissue, it is worked in a manner the body can’t do actively. Massage promotes healing by stimulating blood and lymphatic circulation, flooding the area with blood and transporting waste materials that have accumulated. For this reason massage is often used for injury treatment to encourage bleeding to the injured site, allowing good blood flow to encourage a good healing response. Massage can also be used to break down scar tissue thus increasing flexibility and reducing stiffness
Massage can be used in conjunction with Physiotherapy/Chiropractic treatments which will allow for maximal recovery and importantly avoid reoccurrence.
Physiological effects of massage
- The lymphatic system is comprised of a network of conduits called lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph unidirectionally toward the heart . This system runs parallel to the circulatory system however, unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system relies on movement to actively move fluid through the system. The strokes used in massage flush toxins and waste matter from muscles into this system so that they can be flushed away.
- By manually increasing the temperature of the area being treated, capillaries and blood vessels dilate/ become larger, allowing more blood to enter the body site. So as massage flushes out all the detrimental toxins and waste products produced from exercise or cummulative injury, a large influx of fresh oxygenated blood is created back into the site to revitalise the tired and drained tissue.
- If you have suffered from previous injury, your body will have created scar tissue at the injury site. Regular massage will help break down this tissue and help prevent it binding to muscle or other tissue resulting in reduced movement or function of that muscle. Massage will not make scar tissue disappear, but it will make it more flexible, allowing you to train with less irritation.
Psychological effects of massage
- Massage promotes the release of endorphins which act as natural pain killers.
- Massage also affects the nervous system by having an effect on mechanoreceptors (pressure receptors). These receptors are responsible for the muscle to sense pressure; allowing the muscle to know when it is contracted and or lengthened. Stimulation of mechanoreceptors through massage encourages muscle relaxation.
- As the tension through you body is relaxed, you will find that any anxiety or stress you are carrying will be reduced and you will experience a greater sense of well being.