Therapeutic use of massage affects all systems of the body
The human body was built to move, to be mobile, to be ready for action, yet many people experience achiness, stiffness and inflexibility.
Each day we are faced with many physical challenges. Work areas are often built with equipment in mind, not to accommodate different body shapes and sizes. Emotional stress form deadlines and environmental stress from poor air quality are just some of the factors that increase personal stresses which eventually become evident as pain in the physical body.
Massage therapy seeks to address some of these symptoms by providing specific benefits. The therapeutic use of massage affects all systems of the body, most particularly circulatory (blood and lymph), muscular and fascial, and the nervous systems. Massage therapy is also effective in the control of chronic or acute pain, in stress reduction and in creating a sense of relaxation and well-being.
Historical and current research documents the diverse physiological effects of massage. Many of which are due to the movement of the therapist's hands over the body, physically stretching the muscles, encouraging circulation, inhibiting muscle spasm, and sedating or stimulating the nerves by reflex to ease pain or promote function as necessary.
Many effects are equally preventative in nature. When muscles are loose and circulation is sufficient, better health results, diminishing chances of injury or dysfunction. Some other effects are not well understood, such as decreased anxiety following treatment. Some physical and psychological effects may be due to the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.