The Wide Range Benefits of Massage Therapy
Pain relief isn’t the only reason people seek regular bodywork.
For some clients, bodywork offers many other results that can help
improve their daily life experience.
For example, receiving regular bodywork can promote:
Body awareness. Lack of body awareness can be a major factor in the progression of physical conditions. Massage therapy helps you tune into your body and how you hold your body. It’s like the switch of awareness is switched from off to on after a massage. One of my clients with scoliosis says ” I love how I feel after one of your sessions! Its actually harder to stand slumped, in bad posture then to be in good posture!”. An athlete and a farmer use their muscles to an extreme every day tho the point of pulling their fascia into restricted patterns of flexion and from them I often here this ” My body feels normal again”. A commuter behind a wheel for hours out of the week tells me they feel taller and on balance after bodywork.
Mobility and restoring range of motion. Fascial bodywork balances out the muscles in the entire body. When we suffer from chronic conditions we tend to stop using full-body muscle recruitment to move through the world. Yet, recruiting the full body is how we function best. Pin and stretch and resistance and release can really enliven our movement by restoring our brain / body connection while activating muscles that have stopped working while exploring a wider range of motion.
Health Maintenance. Bodywork improves circulation. Circulation has many components so how can we possibly simplify such a complex system to explain how regular bodywork improves it? Let’s make an attempt. We have an average of about 20 liters of blood that the heart pumps out into the body. 17 of those liters return back to the heart again. So what happens to the remaining 3 liters? Much of it gets filtered and reabsorbed into the body by the lymphatic system. If our lymphatic system is weak or compromised this will result in poor circulation and toxic build up. Massage helps move blood and lymph thus improving circulation and overall health! (NOTE: Circulation massage should never be performed when severe and uncontrolled circulation symptoms are present unless client presents practitioner with a medical release from their physician.)
Improves Gastric Motility The gut is the foundation for a healthy body. When it is moving and digesting properly (there is a healthy foundation for the body to function from. Gastric motility is stimulated by the parasympathetic nervous system. When the sympathetic nervous system is taking over (flight/fight/adrenaline/stress) the gut response is blockage. Without proper motility the body suffers and is toxic. Because the parasympathetic nervous system is activated through bodywork, digestion is passively treated through a session. There are also more direct points that can be pressed to stimulate digestion. In Dynamic Fascial Response™ we incorporate a few gastric motility acupressure points in our sessions so that we are treating motility both passively and directly during a session.
Lifts the mood Stress kills. You have heard it again and again. But what do they mean exactly? Well, cortisol is a hormone that is released when we are stressed. Cortisol ignites the flight or fight response (the sympathetic nervous system) In turn, this compromises a few of our body’s main healing factors circulation oxygenation and hydration. Regular bodywork activates the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation) and thus lowers cortisol, the stress hormone and thus improves mental health.
Alleviates Loneliness and Restores Clarity It has been proven that human touch improves brain development, increases mental clarity and alleviates feelings of isolation and loneliness. I have had many clients without intimate partners who have sought out massage simply for human touch. Many widows have used massage for healing their hearts and coming back home to themselves after losing their beloved. And many seniors in non sexual relationships or in no relationships benefit from touch.
Sleep soundly. Clients with chronic conditions have a hard time sleeping and some suffer from insomnia. Massage has been shown to improved the client’s sleep. Many of my clients tell me when they leave the office “I’m going to sleep good tonight!”. Good for them! Sleep is a key to healing. Morihei Ueshiba, a martial arts master and founder of Aikido, believed that there was no other way besides through sleep that the body can restore it’s chi/ki/qi (inner power/energy).
Massage is not a replacement for medical care.
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