A little bit of background about the benefits of massage
Most people have a basic understanding of tight muscles and “knots” in the tissue itself and how that tightness can effect their posture, movement and performance and cause acute or chronic pain but what really happens during a massage.
I have been treating people with a blend of different soft tissue techniques for more than 11 years now… Over that time I have learnt more than what the book tells you about how tissue behaves and how its ability to function is effected by massage techniques.
The human body is a complicated selection of different systems that all work together to create your ability to function. Therefore when treating the body we have to take this into account and initiate change in all of the systems to make a long term change.
A sports massage works on the muscle tissue by increasing the circulation which helps remove toxins and waste from the muscle and bring more oxygen and nutrients into the area to promote a healing response. The blood vessels dilate allowing them to work more efficiently and therefor can even decrease blood pressure and reduce your heart rate for a short period. Increased blood flow helps to remove oedema (excess fluid in the tissue) and increases the bodies ability to allow the lymphatic system to remove any swelling after a treatment.
On a cellular level the same mechanisms associated with the use of anti inflammatory drugs to reduce pain are initiated by massage therefore reducing inflammation and promoting growth of the cells used for muscle growth and healing and effectively aiding chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.
The nervous system effects change in the endocrine system meaning that massage physically changes the composition of the blood, increasing levels of the “happy hormone” dopamine. Massage increases the available levels of endorphins promoting healing, reduce swelling, speeding up recovery and reducing pain. Theses are just some of the ones that have been tested.