It’s believed that the art of massage therapy was first mentioned in writing about 2000 B.C. and as each of us knows, the aging process can be taxing to the mind/body. We have all felt changes in our bodies as we age and have just accepted most of them as part of the aging process.
Massage Therapy will help your body cope with this process and has definitely proven its benefits worldwide. In fact in many foreign countries massage therapy is often taught to children at a very young age simply due to their awareness of the numerous benefits healing bodywork has such aging.
Other problems we face in our every day lives are that muscles tend to get stiffer, we have less elasticity in our tendons and ligaments and longer recovery periods. The human body is very adaptable. It is a direct product of our stressful lifestyles; extreme activities, overeating, overworking, sitting at desks etc.
When we stop using parts of our bodies stagnation sets in and our bodies simply shut down certain areas we don’t properly stimulate. Think of our spines, we constantly bend forward and rarely bend backward to balance it out. The result is stagnation in our spine which effects our nervous system.
Messages from our brain are not carried out as quickly as they could be and we are not as limber. Massage has been proven to counteract our often sedentary lifestyle and aging process. You will achieve a suppleness your body hasn’t felt in years.
The nervous system controls and coordinates all organs and structures of the human body. Irritation on any nerve will affect one or more of the body’s functions. The most critical part of the nervous system is the spine. Any type of stress, mental or physical, caused by injury, strains, sprains, muscle spasms, or disease will affect one or more of the body’s functions, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.
Once the nerves in our bodies leave the spinal column, they travel through canals in the tissue. If there is any pressure on these canals, whether created by inflammation, swelling or misalignment of vertebra, the nerves will send out a signal in the form of pain to alert the body of a malfunction.
Massage therapy is designed to reduce these pressures by combining nature’s simplest forms of therapy into one very effective system.
The predominant fluid in your body is lymphatic fluid. This fluid carries nutrients from the food you eat and oxygen from the air you breathe. It also carries toxic poisons, bacteria, cholesterol and viruses away from the cells in your body.
Since there is no pump (like the heart for blood) to push this fluid through the body, it is only moved by deep breathing, stretching, vigorous exercise, gravitational force and massage. Manual lymph drainage improves the flow of lymphatic fluid by using light, rhythmic strokes.
Circulation massage therapy has been found to be the most efficient method of stimulating lymphatic circulation. The pulsating action of circulation massage therapy causes the millions of one-way valves that regulate the flow of fluid to open and close thus allowing a healthy surge of lymphatic fluid throughout the entire body.
Manual lymph drainage is primarily used for conditions related to poor lymph flow, such as edema, inflammation, and neuropathies. Lymphatic Drainage Massage can be one of the most healthy massage benefits. Repeated circulation therapy thus creates a continuous flow of lymphatic fluid nourishing and cleansing your cells that literally flush your system of harmful wastes and poisons while increasing your resistance to sickness and disease.
If you have any stress, either mental or physical, you are going to have areas of restricted lymphatic flow. Lymphatic fluid is vital to the life process, bathing all the cells, it acts as a medium of exchange; trading food for the cells for the waste products. This waste contains microorganisms, damaged cells, and protein molecules that are too large or too toxic to go directly into the blood stream through the capillary walls. When the lymphatic system slows down, these waste products accumulate and stagnate which causes the heavy feeling in your limbs and the overall fatigue experienced in a sedentary life style.
Receiving Massage can provide relaxation, circulation, increase the removal of toxins to promote health and can be of great benefit for postoperative recovery, to persons suffering from edema and anyone with recurrent sinusitis, allergies and more.
In a 1998 study of family physicians, 83 percent believed that massage therapy was a useful adjunct to their own practice and 71 percent had referred patients to massage therapists. One benefit of physician-referral to a professional massage therapist is the improved healing and relief in patients with musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain.
Better soma-body awareness increases your ability to communicate symptoms more accurately and fully to your physician. As its effects become more widely recognized, massage will be recommended not only for musculoskeletal problems and stress relief, but also to improve the patient’s soma-body awareness throughout the course of an illness. This will especially be true for patients with chronic disease.
By increasing your proprioceptive awareness (awareness of the body’s sensations from within) you will improve your ability to express the effects of conventional therapy and treatment. Greater ability to advocate for yourself during an illness will mean better compliance with whatever treatment plan you and your physician agree upon.
All human beings are born with the need for touch. Research has identified what we always knew instinctively: We thrive on touch from infancy through childhood to adolescence. Therapeutic touching and massage create the bricks and mortar to sustain healthy growth, social and psychological balance throughout development, and maturity into old age. We can all benefit from the therapeutic effects found in the structured touch of massage.