WEEKEND WEB: Why is massage good for you?

Jo Esdale of Essential Well-Being
Jo Esdale of Essential Well-Being
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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.

THE SKIN

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.

THE MUSCLES

Removes waste products such as lactic acid and breaks down adhesions, keeping the muscles in peak condition and maintaining muscular elasticity and flexibility.

CIRCULATION

Increases the circulation of oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the muscles and the flow of blood through the veins removing waste products.

LYMPHATIC SYSTEM

Stimulates flow of lymph within the lymph vessels and the removal of toxins and waste material.

NERVOUS SYSTEM

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

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

The stress relief of massage can improve breathing.

DIGESTION

Gentle movements over the large intestine aid digestion and increased blood flow around the body, stimulates the absorption and transport of nutrients.

ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

Stress relief of massage can combat an imbalance of hormones produced during times of stress and anxiety.

URINARY SYSTEM

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.

• Win a wellbeing package worth more than £100 for your man – see competition on page 26.