Massage therapy is often recognized as an indulgent, stress-reducing spa experience. However, massage therapy is also a physiological healing art that helps many of the body's vital health systems return to their optimal, flourishing states. Choose a massage therapist that is well-trained in the emotional and physical challenges of your particular illness to complement your physician's individualized treatment plan.
Muscular System Benefits
According to the SportsInjuryClinic.net, massage reduces muscle pain by releasing accumulated waste products and tension in muscles. Massage also promotes relaxation through the body's mechanoreceptors which interpret warmth, pressure and touch to be relaxation mechanisms. Licensed massage therapist Melissa L. Chambers of Florida states that massage improves muscle tone, eliminates muscle knots, relieves muscle spasms and cramps, decreases muscle swelling and pain, and reduces scar tissue.
Circulatory System Benefits
Massage improves surface circulation that lessen the heart's work load, states licensed massage therapist John Rasch. Rasch also states that massage lowers blood pressure, accelerates metabolic waste and increases tissue nutrition, which in turn improves circulation and stimulates blood flow throughout the deeper veins and arteries.
Digestive System Benefits
Massage decreases digestive tract spasms and cramps, reduces nausea, relaxes intestinal and abdominal walls, and relieves constipation.
Reproductive System Benefits
Pregnant women who receive massages may experience shorter and less difficult labors, and shorter hospital stays. Massage also helps menstruating women reduce PMS-associated anxiety and depression, and decreases fluid retention.
Nervous System Benefits
Massage relieves insomnia, restlessness and encourages endorphin, or natural painkiller release. Condition-specific massages calm or stimulate the nervous system, depending on the nature of the ailment. Massage also reduces chronic pinched nerve pain.
Lymphatic System Benefits
Massage increases lymph circulation, which accelerates toxin and waste disposal in the kidneys, stimulate the immune system and accelerate illness recovery.
Respiratory System Benefits
Massage encourages deeper breathing and can regulate respiration throughout the body.
Skeletal System Benefits
Massage decreases skeletal inflammation, which in turn improves range of motion. Massage aids bones in retaining sulphur, phosphorous and nitrogen, nutrients which can help heal fractures. Regular massage also improves posture and balance, which reduces bone and joint stress.
Massage stimulates skin gland production and causes the skin's surface capillaries to dilate, which in turn enhances skin's color and tone. Massage stimulates skin cell regeneration and aids in skin infection resistance. Massage also accelerates sebum, or natural oil production, which in turn makes the skin soft and agile.