“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.”
– Kevin Trudeau
Have you ever treated yourself to a professional massage before? For many adults the answer is no, for fear of the unknown but hopefully this blog and others will help open your mind to scheduling a massage for yourself. We live in a time where people feel the need to be busy and are constantly stressing their immune system taxing their sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Our bodies are designed to rest and digest using our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Below is a simplified image comparing our sympathetic nervous system referred to as our “fight or flight response” vs. our parasympathetic nervous system referred to as our “rest and digest response.” If we spend too much operating from our sympathetic nervous system we start to release too many hormones specifically catecholamines – epinephrine and norepinephrine which accelerate our heart rate leading to an imbalance in our bodies. Therapeutic massage plays an important role in helping to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to release the hormone acetylcholine which has the exact opposite effect of the SNS and relaxes the body and inhibits or slows many high energy functions.
The second benefit of therapeutic massage is improved posture. Most of the human population spends the majority of their day unconscious of how they are moving in their bones leading to poor postural habits while at work, driving, walking and studying. Poor posture leads to added stress and strain placed on our bodies typically leading to a forward head position, rounded shoulders or low back discomfort in our lumbar region. The good news is with manual work and postural re-education your posture can improve with time. One treatment session for 60 to 120 minutes isn’t going to solve all your muscle imbalances but hopefully make you more aware of how your poor posture impacts your entire body from the inside out.
Typically poor posture leads to limited range of motion in our joints impacting how well me move in our bodies. Therapeutic manual massage can help address these imbalances but it is important to note you want to then follow up with weekly pilates and/or yoga sessions that will help build strength to help maintain the new alignment to avoid defaulting back to your old habits. In this image below you can see how we have six basic joints in our bodies with specific functions found in our neck, shoulders, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles.
The fourth important benefit of therapeutic massage is increased blood flow circulation in our bodies. Maybe you know someone who typically has cold hands and feet. The lack of oxygen rich blood (red color in diagram) supply to their hands and feet limits how fast blood is being pumped throughout their body. During a massage session the therapist is physically assisting the body to pump the oxygen poor blood (blue color in diagram) back to the heart to be recycled into oxygen rich blood. Typically the massage strokes are always towards the heart to help in increasing blood supply circulation. The image below demonstrates how oxygen is pumped through our bodies to multiple organs and tissue to help us in our daily activities.
How we breathe throughout the day impacts our posture and our muscles. Learning how to calm the nervous system down and take in full deep long inhalations and exhalations helps with whole body healing. On average, a person at rest takes about 16 breaths per minute. This means we breathe about 960 breaths an hour, 23,040 breaths a day, 8,409,600 a year! We may not consciously think about our breathing impacting our health but our breath plays a vital role in our overall health and wellbeing. Typically during a massage session I work with the clients breath pattern to help ease muscle tension.
Benefits of Therapeutic Massage
- Decreased tension and stress with increased relaxation and stillness
- Improved posture
- Restoration of normal range of motion (ROM) at joints
- Increased blood flow circulation
- Increased awareness to breath and impact on your body
- Whole body healing
Massage Therapy at your Home or Work-place
We offer various types of on-site massage therapy treatments and will be happy to help you figure out which type of massage therapy modality works best for your needs. You can choose a traditional massage or allow us to blend in multiple modalities in a single session as we see fit for your body.
I hope this blog post has inspired you to schedule a massage with a well trained massage therapist near you. Kind in mind each massage therapist has their own style and training so find someone that works well with you and your wellness goals.
We believe in treating the whole person with a holistic approach and blend our knowledge and training to offer you a unique approach specific to you and your needs. We have additional blog post for you to check out on movement, nutrition and traditional chinese medicine.
We love teaching mindful movement and are here to support you in your journey. We offer customized online remote training from anywhere in the world. Contact us today to get started and learn to move with less pain and greater ease. We look forward to partnering with you and answering your movement questions and/or concerns.
Assumption of the Risk: By attempting any of the exercises, you do so at your own risk. We make no representations, guarantees or warranties that the information or exercises on this blog are appropriate for you or will result in improvements of your medical condition or function.
Not medical advice or physical therapy. This content is intended to provide information and instructions on general exercises that may help increase strength, mobility, and function for specific areas of the body. It is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining a medical diagnosis or medical or physical therapy advice from a qualified licensed provider. You should seek medical advice from a qualified physician or physical therapist before trying any of the exercises or self-treatment suggestions on this blog, particularly if your pain is from a traumatic injury or event.