Anyone that has had a body massage can vouch for the positive effects as it leaves you relaxed and invigorated at the same time. However, what many people don't realize is that a good massage can do more than just make you feel good right after, it can actually help you improve your health.
Tight muscles happen for number reasons, bad posture, stress, injury, disease and more. These tight muscles can make you feel tired and sluggish but a good massage can help relieve the tension of the muscles. Not only will this help you feel better, but it's actually better for you since tense muscles do not have healthy blood flow.
The muscles are the most obvious part of the body to benefit from massage. Muscles are made up of fibres that slide over each other (the sliding filament theory) to contract (shorten and fatten) and pull on the bone the muscle is attached to, to create movement. Muscles can contract to 50% of their normal length and stretch to 150% of their normal length. The massage will help increase circulation which will bring more blood and oxygen to the muscles and will also help them get rid of toxins easier.
But stressed out muscles are usually caused by a combination of physical and emotional stresses as well as internal and external factors. If you are stressed out about something, chances are you're probably tensing up your muscles and don't even realize it. Luckily, a good body massage can help work on both these emotional and physical issues.
You can ease external stresses by simply being in a peaceful dimly lit massage room. Sometimes there will be soft music playing and sometimes the oil used will produce an aromatherapy effect which will help relax you. As the therapist works on your tensed muscles, you can just feel the stresses of the day floating away.
Not only will you leave the massage therapy place with more relaxed muscles, your frame of mind will probably be better too. You might find that your mood is elevated and this will actually help you deal with any new stresses you have to face.
A proper body massage will help increase circulation as a therapist will be working directly on areas where fluids get trapped. These are the knotted up or tense areas that you feel in your muscles. The massage will increase blood flow to these areas, releasing toxins and bringing in fresh nutrients that will help your muscles repair themselves and become reenergized.
One thing that a lot of people don't think about with a massage is that it might also improve your digestion. Poor circulation as well as stress can hamper good digestion so if you're massage relieves both these problems then your digestive system might respond accordingly.
As soon as you get off the massage table you probably noticed that you have an improved range of motion. This happens particularly with sports massages where they've gone in for a particular problem to be relieved. However, this can be a byproduct of any massage since once you are tensed muscles have been relaxed in your joints have been made more limber you find that you suddenly have a better range of motion.
Massage has been used in the East for centuries as part of an overall health treatment plan and even here in the West were finding that they can help to fight some diseases and illnesses. Oftentimes people who suffer from arthritis or those who have had surgery frequently report that incorporating massage into the recovery program is quite helpful.
Another thing about body massage that we tend to not think about here in the West is the healing power that comes with touch. Massage therapists know about this and use everything in their tool bag to give you optimum health.