Massage therapy offers many great benefits for our health and well being.
Dating as far back as 5000 BC, massage has been utilised to heal and promote
good health for thousands of years.
Whether you are a regular attendee of chiropractic treatment and would like to
utilise massage therapy as a valuable adjunct to these adjustments, or are seeking
a series of focused treatments to address a specific soft tissue injury, massage
therapy can be hugely beneficial.
One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and
calm. This occurs because massage prompts the release of endorphins – the brain
chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of well being. Levels of stress
hormones, such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrin are also reduced.
We all experience stress in our lives, it’s normal. The trick is learning how to
manage it. Sometimes stress levels can increase to the point where it negatively
affects our lives. When we feel threatened (stressed) our sympathetic nervous
system (fight or flight) is stimulated. If the threat or stress is removed after a short
time, then we can adapt and move on. However, continued stress moves the
body out of balance.
While not everyone has the same reaction to stress, elevated levels of stress
generally translate into an inability to function optimally. For many, a stress
reducing massage therapy session is an excellent tool for coping. By using a
variety of hands-on techniques, and a relaxing environment such as dim lighting,
chilled out music, a warm and cosy room and specific oils and aromas, a massage
therapy session can leave you ready to face the world refreshed and organised
and back into balance.
One of the many ways that massage can help your body is by interrupting or
overwhelming the nerves that report pain in injured tissues, called nociceptors.
These nociceptors have to share their neurological pathway to the brain with a
whole variety of other nerves, which, if stimulated, can send a stronger or faster
signal to the brain to temporarily distract it from the pain.
For example, rubbing and brushing the skin can stimulate the cutaneous nerves
(responsible for skin sensation), gentle movement can stimulate the
proprioceptors (which report the position of your joints so that you can balance)
and pressing into the tissue can stimulate the mechanoreceptors (which respond
to pressure). All of these different receptors, once stimulated are thought to
interrupt the nociceptive signals to the brain.
Many individuals dealing with pain, often on a chronic basis have been prescribed
various exercises to address their issues, however they often report it is difficult
to proceed with their exercises due to the pain inhibition that they experience
with various movements.
By relieving the pain using various hands-on soft tissue techniques, we have a
brief window where we can restore movement to areas that were being inhibited,
and the more the body can move normally, the easier it is to recover from pain
and injury. Massage can also lengthen muscles that are too tight and reduce muscle
spasms. This can have the effect of enhancing flexibility of the body’s joints
allowing us to move with greater freedom and less restriction to movements we
experience in daily life.
While one massage session alone is enough to make someone feel revived and
rejuvenated, the best results are achieved through committing to regular massage
It can be a fantastic way to invest in your health and well being that is both
pleasurable and therapeutic and we can establish a massage schedule that best
meets your individual goals.