Massage is valuable for maintaining good physical and mental health.
Massage can be very effective in managing pain (or avoiding pain starting in the first place). It can relieve muscle tightness, increase bloodflow and healing to areas that feel “stuck”, and improve joint mobility.
It promotes relaxation and can reduce anxiety and stress, improve sleep, and generally leave you feeling amazing.
Physical manipulation of the soft tissue (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments) stimulates blood circulation, which encourages oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells. This can reduce pain, ease stiffness and soreness, break down adhesions and ‘knots’, and it appears to speed up muscle healing and recovery.
Joint mobilisation techniques can stimulate production of synovial fluid, to lubricate joints and improve range of motion and flexibility in stiff joints.
Massage reduces painful muscle contractions and spasms. This can have dramatic results, such as by reducing pressure on a nerve, or reducing headaches, migraines, back pain, digestive disorders.
Massage & Stress
Evidence has shown that massage can lead to reduced levels of cortisol and adrenaline – key hormones in the stress response.
Whilst cortisol and adrenaline are useful in a “fight or flight” situation, their presence long term can be harmful. Chronic stress can lead to muscle tension, fatigue, increased blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of heart disease.
Massage engages the relaxation response in the brain (parasympathetic nervous system) to reverse the effects of stress and return bodily functions to normal. This can mean reducing blood pressure and heart rate to normal levels, and helping the circulatory, digestive, reproductive and immune systems to work as they should after periods of stress. This relaxed state is known as “rest and repair”.