In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics involved in the way the body responds to massage therapy. Massage elicits multiple bodily responses from those who receive it, including both mechanical and relaxation responses, and these lead to a number of practical benefits within the body.
At Body Balance Massage and Float, we’re proud to offer not only a huge array of massage therapy techniques, from deep tissue massage to trigger point therapy and many others, but also simple information on any of our services or massage formats. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll pivot from the body’s specific responses to massage into the way these responses translate into practical benefits across numerous bodily areas.
One of the primary areas of the body that can receive benefits from massage is any muscle group. Muscles are relaxed primarily through the relaxation response, which we went over in part one – this reduces soreness and fatigue, while limiting restriction and stiffness in those who experience it.
In addition, the improvements in blood circulation we talked about in part one are also vital in this area. Better circulation means every muscle in the body receives more oxygen and nutrients on a minute-by-minute basis, helping them stay healthy at all times. There are also several specific techniques your massage therapist will take to reduce spasms and tension, which in turn increases range of motion and flexibility.
Another specific benefit area from massage therapy is connective tissue, such as scar tissue and even areas like bone structure. Massage therapy is known to limit keloid formation when applied to scar tissue, reducing the impact of such scars and even their ability to form. It also helps with bone mineral retention, increasing circulation around any bone injury areas to promote healing.
Many do not realize it, but the potential benefits of massage therapy to the skin are vast. Massage can increase skin temperature, which in turn reduces stress, plus the increase in blood circulation we’ve talked about helps the skin create more nutrients to keep it healthy. Finally, massage also helps increase oil production from the skin, reducing dryness.
Other System Benefits
There are numerous other bodily systems that may be directly benefitted by massage therapy, including:
- Cardiovascular system: Massage dilates blood vessels, improves circulation and decreases blood pressure
- Lymphatic and immune systems: Massage promotes lymph circulation and reduces swelling, plus increases white blood count for the immune system
- Digestive system: Promotion of evacuation through movement of bowel contents
- Nervous and endocrine systems: Massage reduces stress and anxiety while increasing relaxation capability, in turn increasing dopamine and serotonin levels while reducing cortisol levels
- Respiratory system: Reduces respiratory rate by slowing breathing
- Urinary system: Increases urine output and also promotes excretion of substances like nitrogen, phosphorous and sodium chloride
For more on the practical benefits of massage therapy based on body responses, or to learn about any of our massage or float therapy services, speak to the staff at Body Balance Massage and Float today.