The integumentary system is made up of the skin and the hair, nails, glands and nerves it houses. It has many functions, including protecting the body from theoutside world, retaining body fluids, and regulating body temperature. Skin also produces vitamin D and aids in waste removal.
Massage helps the skin and underlying muscles to work together in tandem. If skin is properly hydrated and toned, it creates a healthy pressure against underlying muscles. This allows lymph to drain more efficiently and waste build up that creates cellulitis to flush out. By releasing adhesions and increasing regional blood flow, skin becomes better nourished and hydrated. Cellulitis and scars can diminish, leaving skin looking radiant and supple. According to Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage, “the immediate effects of massage are noticeable on the skin. Friction and stroking movements heighten blood circulation to the skin and increase the activity of the sweat and oil glands. Accompanying the increased flow of blood, there is a slight reddening and warming of the skin. Nutrition to the skin is improved. Massage treatments over time impact a healthy radiance to the skin, making is softer, suppler and of finer texture.”
Healthy skin not only is aesthetically pleasing, but important to overall health. It is often through the skin’s sense of touch that we experience the outside world, react to it, and are protected from it.