Massaging muscles causes many changes in the body through mechanical and relaxation responses. These foot and calf massager reviews are together responsible for the emotional and physical benefits of massages.
The Massage Therapy Relaxation Response
The relaxation effect induced by massage therapy is involuntary. However, it is a very predictable nervous system response to the techniques used in massage therapy.
When the body is massaged in a safe and comfortable manner, the body decodes the touch as a signal to relax.
The response of relaxation induced causes the breathing rate and the heart rate to slow down. It reduces blood pressure. The stress hormones levels produced is decreased, as well. This also causes the muscles to relax.
The relaxation of the muscles increases the serotonin levels. Serotonin is the hormone responsible for positive thoughts and emotions.
This is very promising information, however, there must be more research conducted about the relationship between serotonin production and massage therapy.
The response of relaxation decreases the symptoms that have been medically linked to stress, like cardiac arrhythmias, insomnia, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, disorders of digestion and psychology as well as hypertension, and many more.
The Massage Therapy Mechanical Response
The mechanical effect produced is due to the pressure that is put on soft tissues.
The manipulation of soft tissues creates two physical effects on the tissues: there is an increase in the circulation of lymph and blood and the normalization and relaxation of soft tissue. Soft tissues include connective tissues, ligaments, tendons, and muscle.
The Improvement In Circulation
Massages improve the circulation of lymph and blood due to the effect of manipulating soft tissues physically, causing the release of chemicals in the body.
The improvement in circulation enhances nutrients and oxygen delivery to the muscle cells, and thus improves cellular health.
The improvement in cellular health also improves tissue health. This leads to better functioning of tissues, their absorption of fluids and it also reduces the soft tissue swelling, if present. It makes waste product removal more efficient.
The Relaxation Of Tissues
Massaging muscles causes muscle tissue to relax. It reduces muscle spasms, compressions, and contractions, which can be very painful.
For a better understanding of this process, it should be recalled that muscles compress surrounding nerves when they contract.
When muscles are not contracting, they are relaxed and so there is no compression of the surrounding nerves. They operate better and are able to absorb nutrients better too.
Nerves also benefit from this – they are able to transmit signals from the brain and to the brain more efficiently. This directly improves how organs and muscles function.
The tissues that are not superficial and located in deeper regions of the body cannot be accessed easily during massage therapy. However, the body’s superficial layers affect the deeper layers. So, both are indirectly affected, and massage therapy may benefit the body by causing better balance and alignment of the spinal musculature.
Organs benefit from massages too, because they are connected to nerves and share pain pathways neurologically with nerves, muscles, and bones. When nerves, bones and muscles are under stress, organs may reflect it by dysfunction and distress.