What are the benefits of receiving massage and bodywork?
Helps immune and lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system does not operate with a pump to assist flow. It depends on pressure from muscle contractions and pressure changes in the thorax and abdomen from breathing. Pressure applied to muscles during massage aids in this circulation. Lymphocyte count is also increased, strengthening the immune system.
Improves blood pressure.
Since blood vessels are dilated during massage blood pressure decreases. Both diastolic and systolic readings are lower after a massage.
Brings nutrients to the body's tissues.
Nutrients and oxygen are carried to cells as circulation increases. Increased circulation during massage also aids in the removal of metabolic wastes.
Massage increases dopamine and serotonin levels, both linked to a reduction in stress and depression. At the same time, massage reduces levels of cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine, three hormones directly associated with stress.
Relieves muscular tension, increases range of motion and flexibility.
Massage reduces muscular restriction, tightness and spasms. Muscle fibers are manually separated with compressive and cross fiber friction strokes to reduce muscle spasms. Since massage lengthens muscles and promotes relaxation an improvement in flexibility results.
Natural pain relief.
Massage helps break the pain cycle caused by tense or contracted muscles that cause ischemia, restricted blood flow. A reduction in blood flow results in build up of metabolic wastes and is linked to pain. Endorphins and other pain relieving neurochemicals are also released during massage. Pain is further reduced by the stimulation of pressure receptors causing interference for pain information entering the spinal cord.