Massage therapy has been found to result in physiological effects in all 12 systems of the human body. Learn about the 8 major benefits that you can experience as a result of the physical manipulation of muscle, and how to give yourself a healthy DIY massage at home.
The physical manipulation of muscle from massage therapy has at least 8 major physical benefits that involve all 12 systems of the body:
1) Increase in blood and lymph circulation
2) Reduced stress, anxiety, and pain through the relaxation and normalization of the soft tissue (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments), which releases nerves and deeper connective tissues.
3) Improved skin color & elasticity
4) Improved breathing
5) Reduced/ relieved constipation
6) Improved urination
7) Increased self-awareness and self-esteem
8) Increased fertility
Effects on the Skeletal System
- Massage can help increase joint mobility by reducing any thickening of the connective tissue and helping to release restrictions in the fascia.
- It helps to free adhesions, break down scar tissue and decrease inflammation. As a result, it can help to restore range of motion to stiff joints.
- Massage improves muscle tone and balance, reducing the physical stress placed on bones and joints.
Effects on the Muscular System
- Massage relieves muscular tightness, stiffness, spasms, and restrictions in the muscle tissue.
- It increases flexibility in the muscles due to muscular relaxation.
- It increases blood circulation bringing more oxygen and nutrients into the muscle. This reduces muscle fatigue and soreness.
- It promotes rapid removal of toxins and waste products from the muscle.
Effects on the Cardiovascular System
- Improve circulation by mechanically assisting the venous flow of blood back to the heart
- Dilate blood vessels helping them to work more efficiently
- Produce an enhanced blood flow; delivery of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the tissues is improved and the removal of waste products, toxins, and carbon dioxide is hastened via the venous system
- Help temporarily to decrease blood pressure, due to dilation of capillaries
- Decrease the heart rate due to relaxation
- Reduce ischemia (ischemia is a reduction in the flow of blood to body parts, often marked by pain and tissue dysfunction).
Effects on the Lymphatic System
Massage helps to:
- Reduce oedema (excess fluid in the tissue) by increasing lymphatic drainage and the removal of waste from the system
- Regular massage may help to strengthen the immune system, due to increasing white blood cells.
Effects on the Immune System
- 45-minute massages have been shown to increase the number of lymphocytes, which are very important white blood cells that defend the body from disease.
- Because massages reduce cortisol levels (a stress hormone), the reduced stress, in turn, leads to a healthier immune system.
- Improves the body's ability to nourish the most important areas
Effects on the Nervous System
- Massage stimulates sensory receptors: this can either stimulate or soothe nerves depending on the techniques used.
- It also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, helping promote relaxation and the reduction of stress.
- Massage helps to reduce pain by the release of endorphins (endorphins are also known to elevate the mood).
Effects on the Integumentary System
Massage can bring about:
- Improved circulation to the skin, increased nutrition to the cells and encouraging cell regeneration
- Increased production of sweat from the sweat glands, helping to excrete urea and waste products through the skin
- Vaso-dilation of the surface capillaries helping to improve the skin’s color
- Improved elasticity of the skin
- increased sebum production, helping to improve the skin’s suppleness and resistance to infection.
Effects on the Respiratory System
- Massage deepens respiration and improves lung capacity by relaxing any tightness in the respiratory muscles.
- It also slows down the rate of respiration due to the reduced stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system
Effects on the Digestive System
- Increase peristalsis in the large intestine, helping to relieve constipation, colic, and gas
- promote the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates digestion.
Effects on the Reproductive System
- In some cases, pregnant women have experienced shorter less difficult labors
- Massage can reduce PMS associated anxiety and depression
- Regular massages can reduce pregnancy-related fluid retention
Effects on the Endocrine System
- Improves circulation in the endocrine systems which helps to aids in hormone transport.
- Boosts the immune system as a result of hormones that product lymphocytes
- Has a balancing effect on ANS by normalizing endocrine activity
Effects on the Urinary System
- Massage increases urinary output due to the increased circulation and lymph drainage from the tissues.
How to Experience Massage Therapy At Home With a DIY Massage
Massage rollers and massage balls are perfect for post-gym workouts or targeting sore, tight muscles and prevent cramps. You can apply as much pressure or as little pressure as you can handle. They are comfortable to work with, sturdy and the rolling action is smooth. Take with you on the go. They are compact and convenient to use anywhere.
These massage roller sticks are perfect for loosing up tight muscles in your quads, calves, and hamstrings.
Foam roller blocks may be exactly what you're looking for to massage your back without the need of another person. They really loosen up your back muscles, and are perfect for pre and post yoga activities.
Massage balls can reach areas you can't normally massage with roller sticks or foam blocks, and are perfect for DIY feet, back, arm, shoulders, waists, buttocks, leg, and neck massages.
Final Conclusion - The Most Common Physiological Effects of Massage
Massage can help to:
- Reduce stress and anxiety by relaxing both mind and body
- Create a feeling of well-being and enhanced self-esteem
- Promote positive body awareness and an improved body image through relaxation
- Ease emotional trauma through relaxation