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Effects of Massage

Massage is a holistic therapy. It has effect on both body and mind.

Massage increases the circulation of blood and flow of lymph. The direct mechanical effect of rhythmically applied manual pressure and movement used in massage can dramatically increase the rate of blood flow. Also, the stimulation of nerve receptors causes the blood vessels (by reflex action) to dilate, which also facilitates blood flow. This has a profound effect on one's health.

The following are the key effects of massage:
  • Reduced muscle tension
Massage affects the muscles throughout the body. Massage affects the muscles and other soft tissues throughout the body. It loosens contracted, shortened, hardened muscles. Massage can stimulate weak, flaccid muscles. Chronic muscle tension reduces the circulation of the blood and movement of lymph in an area.
  •  Improved blood circulation
The oxygen capacity of the blood can increase 10-15% after massage. By indirectly or directly stimulating nerves that supply internal organs, blood vessels of these organs dilate and allow greater blood supply to them.
  • Better lymph movement
Lymph is a milky white fluid that drains impurities and waste away from the tissue cells. A component of these wastes is toxins which are the by-products of metabolism. So, it is a vital to our health. Muscular contraction has a pumping effect that moves lymph. Massage and exercise help to move lymph.
  • Increased mobility and range of motion of joints
Massage provides a gentle stretching action to both the muscles and connective tissues that surround and support the muscles and many other parts of the body, which helps keep these tissues elastic.
  • Stimulated or soothed nervous system
Massage balances the nervous system by soothing or stimulating it, depending on which effect is needed by the individual at the time of the massage.
  • Enhanced skin condition
Massage enhances the skin condition by improving the function of the sebaceous and sweat glands, which keep the skin lubricated, clean, and cool.
  • Better digestion and intestinal function
Massage increases the body's secretions and excretions. It increases the production of gastric juices, saliva, and urine. There is also an increased excretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, and salt. As a result, the metabolic rate increases.
  • Relief of acute and chronic pain
Massage can promote recovery from the fatigue and from minor aches and pains.
  • Beneficial effects on the internal organs and the immune system
  • Reduced swelling
  • Reduced stress
  • General relaxation
  • Overall improvement in physical health and the quality of life
(Source: Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, Jennifer Jacobs, MD, MPH, Consultant Editor)
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