Massage Therapy is when a trained health care professional, that works with neuro-muscular and skeletal systems, uses their hands to effect a change of the physiology (make up of the muscle) using techniques such as effleurage, petrrossage, taptoment, friction, hot stone and ice massage. There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen. Furthermore, clients often report a sense of perspective and clarity after receiving a massage. The emotional balance bodywork provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits.
Abnormal Reflex Arc
The healthy human body is designed to efficiently and effectively adapt to a certain range of stimulation. When stimulation in the external and internal environments of the body exceed the central nervous systems limits, changes begin to occur in the nervous system as well as the peripheral tissues (such as the muscles), including the registration of pain and the occurrence of dysfunction. The dysfunctions and pain in the muscle are muscular hypertonicity, trigger points, and ischemia.
Muscular hypertonicity or common known as muscle tightness is the body's response to increaase neuromuscular tone in reaction to a stressor. It results from an increased rate of contraction stimulus causing the muscle to hold a highter degree of resting tonus than it normally would, which can cause pain.
Trigger points are a build up of lactic and uric acid in the belly of a muscle caused by loss of communication which in turn causes an increase in signal to the area. This causes repeated contraction of the muscle (over excitablity), in turn causing lack of blood flow and oxygen (Ischemia) to the muscle. The reason it does not get better without manual assistance is because the body begins to think that this over excitable response is normal, which causes muscular hypertonicity (spasms or tightness). This is why regular massage is important because it reteaches the body what is normal after the area is alleviated of the excess acid. Massage works by pressure, kneading, stroking and heating causing increased blood flow which brings in new oxygen and nutrients into the muscle. Lymph drainage is also enhanced, thereby removing waste products and reducing the affects of the pain inducing chemicals. To ensure increased muscle health you should receive regular massage of once a week to get alleviate the issues in your muscles and then gradually monthly to maintain the health of your tissues. The reason for the importance of regular monthly massages is the body always remembers where you had previous issues. These spots are remembered becasue they are the easiest path of resistance to store waste products in the body.
Increase the Benefits with Frequent Visits
Getting a massage can do you a world of good and getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll feel with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.