The physiological and psycholgical changes that take place during massage therapy contribute to quicker healing and an overall healthier well-being.
Studies reveal that there are two primary effects of massage therapy, the more familiar physical response and the less well known relaxation or nervous system response. Even a short massage, with the physical touch and muscle manipulation results in the optimization of blood and lymphatic flow.
Additionally, the pressure placed on muscles, ligaments, and tendons leads to relaxation of body systems and restores them to proper function. At the same time, as tissues relax, so does the nervous system. This state of relaxation results in lowered blood pressure, decreased stress on blood vessels throughout the body, normalization of stress hormones including cortisol, and more regular breathing. Many believe that massage therapy is the only therapeutic procedure proven to create these simultaneous effects.
The beneficial effects of any type of massage therapy last long after the session has concluded. Massage therapy also has positive psychological effects. As the levels of stress hormones are reduced and the body begins the relaxation response, anxiety decreases, levels of alertness increase, and there is a clearer state of cognition. All of these changes contribute to quicker healing and an overall healthier well-being.