As many who have undergone a massage in the past are well aware, massage therapy offers several distinct benefits to the body, from relaxation to pain relief and many others. Fewer, though, know the mechanical bodily responses that allow massage therapy to be so beneficial.
At Body Balance Massage and Float, we’re proud to offer not only a wide range of massage therapy services, ranging from deep tissue massage to Swedish massage, trigger point massage and many other varieties depending on your needs, but also to explain how these work and why they’re beneficial to you. This two-part blog series will go over various mechanical bodily responses to touch and massage, plus how massage therapists utilize these responses to bring you several benefits.
Through a combination of a caring touch and pain relief techniques, massage therapists look to achieve what’s known as a relaxation response. This is a bodily state where the patient’s heart rate and breathing rate both slow, allowing the body to relax and decrease the production of stress hormone. In turn, blood pressure often decreases and levels of serotonin, which is connected to positive emotions and thoughts, is increased in the brain.
In addition, the relaxation response is known to directly combat the physical impact of stress on the body, plus the risks it’s associated with. It helps decrease the risk of conditions like hypertension, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue and even certain digestive disorders or psychological issues.
In addition to the relaxation response massage provokes from the body, physical manipulation of tissue also has other mechanical impacts. These include:
- Increased blood and lymph circulation, which helps cleanse cells and nourish various areas.
- Relaxation of various soft tissues, primarily muscles, to release tension and benefit connective tissues.
Our next several sections will look at the practical impact of these responses from the body.
As we just noted, blood and lymph circulation show major benefits due to massage therapy. It moves around these vital fluids to every area of the body, allowing them to perform their duties as needed.
In addition, improved circulation has an impact on important areas like oxygen and nutrient delivery. These vital elements are brought to muscle cells through the bloodstream, meaning limited circulation will stop important nutrients from reaching the places they need to be. As a result of massage, cells will function efficiently and remove waste products, plus reduce swelling in soft tissues that often leads to pain symptoms.
For more on the mechanical and relaxation responses elicited by massage therapy, or to learn about any of our massage or float therapy services, speak to the staff at Body Balance Massage and Float today.