Massage involves the manipulation of both superficial and deep layers of muscles and skin, in order to provide relaxation and wellbeing.
The word comes from the arabesque “massa”, which means touching, feeling or handling and it involves acting over the body using an unstructured, structured, moving or stationary pressure.
The targeted tissues include muscles, joints, skin, ligaments, tendons, or other types of connective tissue, as well as organs of the gastrointestinal system or lymphatic vessels. The massage can be performed using the hands and fingers, as well as elbows or even knees, feet or the whole body. Jane Moore a therapist at kalyana spa explains there are over 80 known methods of massage. Besides relaxation, this alternative therapy also brings other benefits to the body such as increased immunity, improved blood circulation and muscle tone.
Whether we are talking about a relaxing massage or a massage treatment, all types have the common goal to address different problems in the body, restore the energy balance and promote health. The therapeutic massage is equally suitable for healthy people because its primary role is to prevent illness and keep the body in shape. In prophylactic purpose, the therapeutic massage aims to prevent and combat any disease or illness caused by the accumulation of professional, physical or intellectual fatigue. It can also be a part of more complex treatments and rehabilitation related to certain pathologic diseases.
The benefits of massage are multiple and we are going to detail only a few of them.
Massage improves blood and lymphatic circulation
The massage helps activate circulation throughout the body. Lymphatic circulation is less known than blood circulation, but it is very important, considering that it acts as a waste carrier. Both types of circulation can be restored to normal levels by correctly applied massage techniques.
Massage stimulates and soothes the nervous and endocrine systems
Vigorous massage can have stimulating effects on the nervous system, maintaining the psychomotor function in optimal conditions. Conducted through slow and gentle maneuvers, it is soothing and particularly effective against excessive tension, mental stress, pain and anxiety. The relaxing effect which helps to remove fatigue is obtained precisely by relaxing the nervous and endocrine systems. A correct massage stimulates the production of endorphins – the brain chemical that produces the feeling of happiness – and also reduces the levels of stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine.
Massage increases mobility and flexibility of joints
It has a great vasodilator effect, which makes joints healthier.
Massage increases the elasticity and muscle contractility
Any type of massage helps to increase the amount of blood and oxygen in muscles. This improves elasticity, muscle contractility and functional abilities, delaying anoxia and the accumulation of toxins that cause glycolysis.
Massage reduces muscle tension
There is no mystery in the fact that massage relieves muscular aches and strains. Certain maneuvers lead to lower excitability and muscle contractility. This is explained by the fact that massage increases blood circulation in muscles, which increases the levels of natural opioids that attach to brain receptors, being able to block pain and produce a general feeling of calm.
Massage improves skin condition
There are massage techniques that allow muscle fibers to rebuild their energy reserves, which translates also into the fact that the skin regains its elasticity and firmness. The physical properties of the skin are also improved, because massage favors the exfoliation of the cells, stimulating regeneration.
These are just a few of the benefits a good massage can bring you. Done on a regular basis, massage can make you feel reborn – and even look a lot better too!