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Massage and Health

Massage is a holistic therapy. It has effect on both body and mind.

Massage increases the circulation of blood and flow of lymph. The direct mechanical effect of rhythmically applied manual pressure and movement used in massage can dramatically increase the rate of blood flow. Also, the stimulation of nerve receptors causes the blood vessels (by reflex action) to dilate, which also facilitates blood flow. This has a profound effect on one's health.

Health Benefits of Massage

The following are the key effects of massage:

Massage Reduces Muscle Tension.  

Massage affects the muscles throughout the body. Massage affects the muscles and other soft tissues throughout the body. It loosens contracted, shortened, hardened muscles. Massage can stimulate weak, flaccid muscles. Chronic muscle tension reduces the circulation of the blood and movement of lymph in an area.

Massage Improves Blood Circulation.  

The oxygen capacity of the blood can increase 10-15% after massage. By indirectly or directly stimulating nerves that supply internal organs, blood vessels of these organs dilate and allow greater blood supply to them.

Massage Induces Better Lymph Movement.  

Lymph is a milky white fluid that drains impurities and waste away from the tissue cells. A component of these wastes is toxins which are the by-products of metabolism. So, it is a vital to our health. Muscular contraction has a pumping effect that moves lymph. Massage and exercise help to move lymph. 

Massage Results In Increased Mobility and Range of Motion of Joints.

 Massage provides a gentle stretching action to both the muscles and connective tissues that surround and support the muscles and many other parts of the body, which helps keep these tissues elastic.

Massage Stimulates or Soothes Nervous System.  

Massage balances the nervous system by soothing or stimulating it, depending on which effect is needed by the individual at the time of the massage.

Massage Enhances Skin Condition.  

Massage enhances the skin condition by improving the function of the sebaceous and sweat glands, which keep the skin lubricated, clean, and cool.

Massage Results in Better Digestion and Intestinal Function.  

Massage increases the body's secretions and excretions. It increases the production of gastric juices, saliva, and urine. There is also an increased excretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, and salt. As a result, the metabolic rate increases.

Massage Relieves of Acute and Chronic pain.  

Massage can promote recovery from the fatigue and from minor aches and pains

Other Benefits of Massage

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Massage has beneficial effects on the internal organs and the immune system

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Massage reduces swelling 

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Massage reduced stress

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Massage is useful for general relaxation

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Massage results in overall improvement in physical health and the quality of life.

(Source: Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, Jennifer Jacobs, MD, MPH, Consultant Editor)

Next Topic: Benefits of Massage

Related Topic: Massage - Precautions/ Contra-Indications

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