Massage consists of techniques to manipulate the soft tissues of the body.
It is used for the beneficial effects on the nervous, muscular systems and connective tissues and for enhancing the circulation of blood and lymph.
Massage may assist in the following areas:
Health maintenance and/or health promotion
Promotes general tissue health and encourages lifestyle and general health awareness.
Helps relieve associated muscular tension and encourages general relaxation.
Speeds recovery from injury and regaining full range of movement.
Helps reduce recovery period, speeds up elimination of anaesthetic and reduces pain and stiffness associated with bed rest.
Emotional and/or psychological disorders
Releases endorphins that help to uplift and reduce depression.
Helps reduce pain and discomfort associated with long term bed rest as well as providing support and reducing the effects of emotional stress for the patient as well as the family.
Helps break the “pain – spasm” cycle whilst reducing associated muscle tightness. Deactivates trigger points which can cause referred pain.
Care of the disabled
Provides emotional support as well as assisting in the maintenance of general tissue health
Some of the reported physical benefits of massage:
• Increases blood and lymph circulation; Increases supply of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues; Assists the clearing of metabolic wastes; May help remove excess fluid/ swelling.
• Decreases muscle tension to enhance functioning of muscles and associated vessels.
• Reduces or removes tension- related muscle pain.
• Speeds recovery of muscles from exercise.
• Frees up connective tissue layers for increased mobility and circulation.
• Can reduce nerve irritation and pain.
• Improves lung functioning by relaxing overtight muscles associated with breathing.
• Can improve immune function and encourage energy flow in the body.
Modern massage therapy has been assisted by the accumulation of scientific evidence that both supports and explains the beneficial effects of massage in the treatment of soft tissue injuries.
There are more and more research studies being done on the benefits of massage therapy. The following links will give further information on this subject.