The Benefits of Massage

Tulsa Massage involves rubbing or manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It has several benefits for both mental and physical health.Massage

Some people may feel sore after a massage, but this is good since it means the muscles are recovering. It also encourages blood flow, which can help lower blood pressure.

Massage is the rubbing or kneading of the body’s soft tissues, such as muscle, skin, tendons, ligaments and joints. It is performed with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms or feet, or a device. The goal of massage is to relax and rebalance the body’s muscles, tendons and ligaments, as well as reduce stress, and improve circulation.

Some people feel pain during or immediately after a massage, but it is usually temporary. During treatment, the therapist may use firm pressure to break up muscle tension or adhesions in deeper layers of the musculature. This can cause some discomfort, but it is not uncommon for the therapist to ask you to breathe deeply and to speak up if it becomes too painful. Massage is often used to treat chronic pain, such as headaches or neck pain. It increases the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. It also relieves anxiety and stress associated with these conditions.

Tight muscles can cause pain, fatigue and stiffness, and they can limit your range of motion. By increasing the temperature of the tight muscle and causing friction to the area, massage helps loosen the muscles and increase their elasticity.

Besides relieving pain, massage stimulates your organs and cells, which promotes tissue health. It also increases your energy levels and boosts your immune system. Massage can also help your bones, muscles and joints regain their normal range of motion. It can even help relieve pressure points, which are knots in the muscles that can be very painful.

In addition, rubbing the muscles during massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates your rest and relaxation response. This causes your heart rate to slow and the production of stress hormones like cortisol to drop, which reduces muscle soreness. Adding heat or ice to the sore areas of your body during recovery can be helpful, too. Heat increases blood flow to the area and helps the muscle to relax, while ice can help decrease swelling and numb the pain.

Increases Circulation

One of the most common positive effects that massage is known for is its ability to increase circulation. This supposedly improves muscle tissue oxygenation and nutrient delivery, which in turn helps reduce soreness, aids in injury recovery and promotes better overall health.

But how exactly does massage increase circulation? In short, there are a number of different physiological mechanisms involved, many of which have been studied in scientific studies. Some of the most important include vasodilation, increased capillarisation and increased venous return.

Vasodilation involves the body’s blood vessels widening, which gives blood more space to flow through. This happens during massage when muscles are worked on vigorously. As a result, the pressure on the muscles causes blood vessels to expand. This is particularly beneficial for areas of the body with poor blood circulation. The good news is that this effect lasts a long time after massage, so regular sessions can have lasting benefits for your blood flow.

Another way that massage increases circulation is by increasing the speed at which lactic acid moves out of your muscles after exercise. This enables your muscles to recover much more quickly after workouts, which again improves muscle tissue oxygenation and nutrient supply, reduces soreness and boosts performance.

A third way that massage improves circulation is by improving lymphatic flow. This occurs when massage stimulates the lymphatic system to break down muscle adhesions and increase venous return, which in turn increases lymph flow around the body. This helps to remove metabolic wastes from muscles and limbs, which reduces swelling and increases healing.

Finally, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated during massage, which counteracts the fight or flight response, slowing down heart rate and blood pressure while enhancing blood and lymph flow throughout the body. Combined with improved circulation, this helps to increase energy levels and decrease anxiety, as well as enhance immune function and reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions like diabetes.

While there are a lot of ways that massage can theoretically affect circulation, the truth is that there’s an awful lot of stuff that controls blood flow that has nothing to do with the relatively brief input of pressure from soft tissue manipulation. This means that, in practice, it’s a little like trying to save someone from a stopped heart with chest compressions.

Reduces Pain and Soreness

The direct pressure applied to muscles during massage can help ease pain and soreness by encouraging the flow of blood throughout the body. This improves oxygenation and nutrients to the tissues, which speeds healing and reduces inflammation. Massage also stimulates the nervous system and encourages a release of chemicals that act as natural pain relievers, such as endorphins. Nonprescription pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be taken after a massage to further reduce soreness.

The body’s natural reaction to stress, called the “fight-or-flight” response, can lead to tension and pain in the muscles. Massage has been shown to decrease the levels of the primary stress hormone cortisol, while increasing serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being.

Vigorous exercise can cause tiny tears in muscle fibers, which then trigger an immune response that leads to inflammation and soreness. Researchers found that massage significantly reduced the time it took for muscle tissue to heal from a tear when compared to unmassaged tissue.

During massage, mechanical pressure on the muscles is combined with stimulation of the surrounding tissue and skin. This results in a release of the vasodilators histamine and acetylcholine, which cause the capillaries to dilate and increase circulation. This increases the speed at which nutrients reach damaged cells, and helps remove waste products from the tissue.

In addition to reducing pain and soreness, increased circulation can help prevent the formation of scar tissue. Scar tissue is a tough and dense structure that can restrict movement, lead to pain and even limit range of motion. Massage breaks up scar tissue and improves the flexibility of the tissue, allowing more movement and relieving pain.

The benefits of massage extend far beyond the physical, and can help alleviate a variety of emotional and psychological conditions. Studies have shown that massage can lower blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones, and boost serotonin and dopamine. It can also help treat anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and other symptoms related to stress.

Aids in Recovery

Massage has long been known to feel good and help relax muscles, but did you know it actually aids the recovery process after exercise? This is due to the increased blood flow and improved waste management. This allows nutrients, oxygen and other important substances to travel around the body as they should which decreases muscle and tissue stiffness and soreness, decreases post workout fatigue and speeds up overall recovery time after a hard training session or intense exercise.

This is all thanks to the techniques of effleurage, kneading, rolling and myofascial release that are used in therapeutic massage or sports massage. The most effective type of massage for improving recovery after a workout is deep tissue massage. This is because it breaks down adhesions and collagen fibres that limit movement and increase stress. It is also the most beneficial for removing metabolic waste and increasing lymph flow. This aids in the removal of waste products that can build up and lead to swelling, pain, and longer recovery times.

Studies have shown that massage increases the number of mitochondria in muscle cells, which are responsible for generating energy at a cellular level. This leads to faster and more complete recovery from endurance exercise, and it reduces lactic acid build up after workouts.

While inflammation is an essential part of the healing process, too much can lead to injury, pain, and reduced range of motion (ROM). Massage increases discharge from low-threshold sensory fibers that block pain sensation temporarily, which helps relieve pain after a tough training session.

Another way that massage can improve recovery is by encouraging a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that those who receive regular massage experience better quality sleep than those who do not. This is because massage can ease tension and relax the mind, which in turn allows for more restful sleep. This is especially helpful for those who are recovering from injuries, as a good night’s sleep can speed up the healing process. In addition, massage has been shown to improve the quality of sleep in patients with chronic conditions such as heart disease and depression.


Elsie Felton