The Beneficial Aspects of Massage
Touch signals safety and trust. It soothes. It calms cardiovascular stress. It activates the body’s vagus nerve, which is intimately involved with our compassionate response. A simple touch can trigger the release of oxytocin, aka “the love hormone”.
• Massage dilates blood vessels, improving circulation and relieving congestion.
• It increases the number of red blood cells, especially in the case of anemia.
• It acts as a “mechanical cleanser” pushing along lymph and hastening the elimination of wastes and toxic debris.
• It relaxes muscle spasms and relieves tension.
• It increases the blood supply and nutrition to muscles without adding to their load of toxic lactic acid, produced through voluntary muscle contraction.
• Massage improves muscle tone and helps prevent or delay muscular atrophy resulting from forced inactivity.
Massage helps our bodies activate their own restorative powers through the parasympathetic nervous system, creating a wonderful way to engage fully in our own healing.
• It can compensate, at least in part, for lack of exercise and muscular contraction in persons who, because of injury, illness or age are forced to remain inactive. In these cases, massage can help return venous blood to the heart and so eases the strain on this vital organ.
It helps lessen inflammation and swelling in joints and so alleviates pain.
• Transverse massage separates muscle fibres, undoing or preventing the formation of adhesions.
• Massage may have a sedative, stimulating or even exhausting effect on the nervous system depending on the type and length of massage given.
• Massage improves the general circulation and nutrition of tissues. It is accompanied or followed by an increased interchange of substances between the blood and tissue cells heightening tissue metabolism.
Massage stretches connective tissue, improves its circulation and nutrition and so breaks down or prevents the formation of adhesions and reduces the danger of fibrosis.
• Massage improves the circulation and nutrition of joints and hastens the elimination of harmful particles.
• Massage helps eliminate edema of the extremities.
• Massage disperses the edema following injury to ligaments and tendons, lessens the pain and facilitates movement.
• Massage empties the larger ducts and channels and so decreases the autointoxication resulting from the re-absorption of toxic materials in these channels resulting from inflammation or constipation.
• Nursing home patients who receive regular massages show fewer signs of senility.
Touch has been proven to be a necessary element of a thriving life.