There are numerous studies
And theories out there about how our physical anatomy responds to massage (i.e. increased vasodilation leading to lower blood pressure, increased lymph and circulatory flow, etc.) but we often overlook why we feel so relaxed at the end of a session and how your massage has a profoundly uplifting effect on your emotional outlook.
Following your massage
Your emotional well being is bolstered with the release of the “feel good” chemicals produced in the brain called “endorphins”. Endorphins are also released after a period of physical exertion, like after a physical workout. They produce that relaxed “ahhhhhhh” feeling that stays with you throughout the day and additionally, endorphins prevent nerve cells from releasing pain signals, so you feel better when you leave.
Massage also reduces the levels of other chemicals produced in the brain
Such as norepinephrine and cortisol, which are hormones produced by stress. These stress hormones can cause inflammation and disease, so the fact that massage reduces the production of these is a very good thing!
Regular massage therapy provides many long term benefits, such as:
- Increases circulation, which allows the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
- Stimulates the lymph system, the body’s natural defense against toxic invaders called “free radicals”.
- Releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller. For this reason, massage is incorporated in treatment for chronic illnesses, injury and recovery from surgery to control and relieve pain.
- Improves range of motion and decreases discomfort associated with lower back pain.
- Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles.
- Reduces muscle spasms and cramping.
- Increases joint flexibility.
- Reduces recovery time for strenuous workouts and eliminates subsequent risk of muscle strain.
- Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need for medication.
- Reduces post-operative adhesions and edema, as well as reduces and realigns scar tissue after healing has occurred.
- For pregnancy, massage may contribute to shorter labor, reduce the need for medication and aid in quicker recovery post-partum.
Source: American Bodywork and Massage Professionals www.abmp.com