Massage is a highly sensitive form of communication

The sense of touch is a powerful and highly sensitive form of communication. It is a natural reaction to reach out and touch, whether to feel the shape or texture of something or to respond to another person, perhaps by comforting them. A mother touches her baby, family pets are stroked and if we accidentally knock a limb we instinctively “rub it better”. To touch someone can mean various things in different cultures. There are many social restrains which inhibit touching in public. For us , a formal handshake, a nod of the head, and even a peck on each cheek are all recognised forms of greeting, and yet you can carry them out without showing any real emotion. Indeed, our rather formal approach to physical contact is contrary to our most basic needs. Fortunately, we are now rediscovering the healing power of massage and other touch therapies which have been understood in other cultures for thousands of years.

Massage Development

History shows that although the early Egyptians made references to the benefits of massage, the Chinese were among the first to recognise its healing value at around 3000 BC. Herbalists throughout history have used massage to heal body and soul, both by applying balms and by laying their own hands to clear the mind.

Effects of massage

Massage can stimulate and relax the body and the mind. The skin, blood and lymphatic systems are stimulated, which boosts circulation, aids cellular renewal and removes toxic wastes. As tense muscles relax, stiff joints loosen up and nerves are soothed, an all over feeling of relaxation and well-being comes about.

So what exactly are the massage effects?

The nervous system, Depending on the depth of the massage movement used, the nerve endings can be stimulated or soothed.

The skin, With massage comes an increase in blood circulation. This helps the exfoliation, tones the skin and encourages its renewal process. Massage helps maintain collagen fibres which give skin its elasticity and keeps wrinkles at bay.

Muscles, With an increase in blood flow, the blood’s vital nutrients circulate more efficiently. Massage is popular with sportsman and women because it can improve muscle tone, restore mobility, and ensure the elimination of waste products after exercise. With regular massage, strains and sprains heal more rapidly, while calf cramps and stiff muscles can become a thing of the past. Massage before an exercise session will help loosen and warp up the muscles, or afterwards, it will ease sore limbs.

Circulation and Lymphatic Systems, By dilating the blood vessels, massage increases the blood circulation. A good circulatory system means that the efficient supply of the blood’s oxygen and nutrients reaches the billions of individual cells. At the same time, the increase in blood circulation helps the lymphatic system, which absorbs and eliminates waste substances. Unlike the blood circulation, which has the heart to pump it around, the lymphatic system has no pump of its own and it is dependant on muscular action for its efficiency. Massage is an important means of speeding up the flow of the lymph, encouraging effective filtering. An efficient lymphatic system provides the body with a strong immune system.

Digestion, Massage mobilizes the digestive system so that the process of assimilation and elimination are improved, helping problems like constipation and flatulence. The digestive system is quick to respond to stress and the reduction in anxiety which comes with regular massage has a regulating effect on the digestion.

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