Massage is the systematic manual application of pressure & movement to the soft tissue of the body-the skin, tendons, ligaments, fascia (the membrane surrounding muscles & muscle groups). It encourages healing by promoting the flow of blood & lymph, relieving tension, stimulating nerves, & stretching & loosening muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic.
- Massage reduces waste products such as lactic acid & carbonic acid that build up in muscles after activity and cause cramping, discomfort, and irritability. It also enhances the immune system and aids recovery from soft tissue injuries by increasing blood circulation to injured areas.
- Massage dilates or opens up blood vessels, improving the circulation and relieving congestion. Massage also increases the number of red blood cells, especially in cases of anemia.
- Massage acts as a “mechanical cleanser” pushing along the lymph and hastening the elimination of wastes & toxic debris. Massage helps to eliminate edema (or dropsy) of the extremities through lymphatic massage.
- Massage increases the blood supply and nutrition to the muscles without adding to their load of toxic acid, produced through voluntary muscle contraction (such as exercise). Massage thus helps to overcome harmful “fatigue” products resulting from strenuous exercise or injury.
- Massage improves muscle tone and helps prevent or delay muscular atrophy resulting from forced inactivity. Massage relaxes muscle spasms and relieves muscle tension.
- Massage may have a sedative, stimulating, or even exhausting effect on the nervous system, depending on the type and length of massage treatment given.
- Massage improves the circulation and nutrition of joints and hastens the elimination of harmful particles in the synovial fluid. It helps to lessen inflammation and swelling in joints, thereby alleviating pain.
- Massage disperses the dema following injury to ligaments and tendons, lessening pain, and facilitating movement.