HEALTH AND WELLBEING: A monthly column by Jo Esdale
The majority of people associate massage for a pamper treatment or to treat an injury, however massage has been proven to be most effective when it is used as preventative measure on a regular basis.
Massage therapy dates back thousands of years to our ancient ancestors who believed in its medical benefits and healing properties.
However, Western medicine has only recently accepted the beneifits of massage for both its preventative and remedial massage benefits.
Endorphins, the ‘feel good’ chemicals, are released during massage. Endorphins create the feeling of exhilaration and relaxation, relieving pain, anxiety and stress, making masssage a beneficial treatment for many health concerns.
Massage can be given in a variety of methods and techniques to suit everybody’s requirements, whether it is to relieve tight muscles and pain, rehabilitate muscular injuries or simply to improve your mood if you are feeling stressed, low or tired.
Massage can be deep or light, combined with aromatherapy oils and complemented with hot or cold stones. It can be stimulating and relaxing and benefits the entire body.
Removes dead skin cells, improving texture and aiding cell renewal, slowing down ageing. The massage mediums nourish and soften the skin and can also soften scar tissue.
Removes waste products such as lactic acid and breaks down adhesions, keeping the muscles in peak condition and maintaining muscular elasticity and flexibility.
Increases the circulation of oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the muscles and the flow of blood through the veins removing waste products.
Stimulates flow of lymph within the lymph vessels and the removal of toxins and waste material.
Nerve endings in muscles are relaxed and soothed, relieving tension and creating a sedative effect on the central nervous system. Nervous stress and tension are relieved and certain types of pain are relieved by the pressure of massage
The stress relief of massage can improve breathing.
Gentle movements over the large intestine aid digestion and increased blood flow around the body, stimulates the absorption and transport of nutrients.
Stress relief of massage can combat an imbalance of hormones produced during times of stress and anxiety.
Massage increases the amount of urine produced as waste and fluid is eliminated from the body.
So, in summary the overall physical and psychological effects of massage produce a feeling of well being and relaxation, reducing tension, anxiety and stress and enhances sleep.
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