Massage can have either stimulating or relaxing effects on the nervous system, depending on the length and type of massage. Massage communicates to the brain via the nerves, encouraging it to enter back into homeostasis, so that all the systems can "rest and digest." Massage also breaks up scar tissue, which can act as a dam preventing normal nervous flow.
The endocrine system is the body’s complex system of glands producing hormones to help regulate all body processes. There are around 50 known hormones the endocrine glands produce. More and more hormones, as well as their functions and interactions with other hormones, are continually being discovered. Massage has been shown to lower epinephrine and norepinephrine (commonly known as the adrenaline hormones), as well as cortisol (commonly known as the stress hormone). These three hormones put the body in what is called the “fight or flight” response. When in fight or flight, senses are sharpened, blood pressure rises, and breathing becomes faster and deeper. Digestion virtually stops as blood is directed away from digestive organs and sent to muscles to prepare them for maximal exertion. Cortisol also encourages the body to break down protein to form glucose as a fast energy source. Fight or flight is an amazingly powerful mechanism allowing escape to safety in cases of extreme danger. However, living in a constant state of fight or flight can have obvious negative effects on the body. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t know the difference between being chased by a bear or having an overwhelming day of work. Fortunately, getting a massage, breathing correctly, and stretching mindfully can help put the body back into a state where it can rest, digest, and build protein stores (muscles!) back up. Massage has also been shown to raise dopamine and serotonin levels. Dopamine and serotonin are the hormones responsible for controlling the brain's pleasure centers, regulating mood, reducing anxiety, helping with sleep, and more. Beck, A. (2005). Theory and practice of therapeutic massage. Place of publication not identified: Delmar.
When in fight or flight, our brain channels blood to our skeletal muscles and away from our digestive organs. By returning to rest and digest, using mindful breathing and massage, blood is redirected to the digestive system allowing us to digest, absorb and eliminate food properly.
Muscles act as levers on our skeletal system to move us through our world. By adjusting muscular imbalances through massage and proper stretching, the skeletal system can function more efficiently and maintain proper alignment.
By massaging and stretching the muscles responsible for breathing, the body is allowed to take deeper, fuller breaths. In turn, your muscles and other organs will become better oxygenated, promoting better function and healing.
Let's face it...it may warm our hearts when that special someone gifts us with a gift card to our favorite spa (davanti salon.spa, I'm assuming, is at the top of your short list) but coming in and getting that massage can do a lot more for heart than just that!! If you suffer from any kind of heart condition it is a crucial to check in with your doctor about the limitations you might encounter with your specific condition and when it comes to the type of massage you can and cannot receive. However, given the official go ahead means you can experience a number of benefits in just a few visits. Massage has been shown as an effective way to lower blood pressure*. This accompanied with the reduction in stress, which are two main contributing factors to cardiovascular disease are reason enough, in our opinion. It also SCREAMS preventative maintenance to me, especially if these kind of risk factors run in your family. Active, healthy muscles promote the growth of new blood vessels and a stronger, more efficient heart. This also aids the function of every other system carrying oxygen-rich blood all over the body. The healthier and more active your muscular system is, the healthier your cardiovascular system will be and the better you will look and feel. You shouldn't wait to get that gift card. For your health call us today ;)
*Always seek the advice of your doctor before receiving a treatment if you are under the care of a physician for cardiovascular issues.
When I think of massage, my mind immediately goes to soothing sore muscles. It is the primary reason our guests schedule a treatment with us. There are over 600 muscles in the human body, all of which compose 40-50% of your body weight. Remember that every time you hop on the scale!! Massage promotes blood flow to overactive muscles, encouraging them to relax and elongate. Our muscles hold onto toxins and a buildup of minerals that can cause soreness and "knots". Massage will help to flush out waste, break up scar tissue, and address imbalances of tension within the muscles and surrounding fascia (this is a layer of primarily collagen that lies just beneath the skin attaching the muscles to skin, muscles, and other internal organs). When it comes to your overall health, massage is not only a remedy but longer term preventative maintenance. So I'm guessing we will see you soon for your first treatment...right?!?!
Over the next 11 weeks, we will be posting how massage affects every system of your body. Every week we will be sharing with you how massage benefits not only your ability to relax and unwind but how it is crucial in sustaining your overall health and wellness. Massage isn't just something to indulge in anymore, it is and should be a routine part of your healthcare plan! Stay tuned and learn how to care for your body in relaxing new ways! !!!