Massage calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well being. When Massage Therapy activates your body's parasympathetic nervous system, it counteracts your body's negative response to stress, relaxing muscle tension and allowing your heart rate, blood pressure and circulation to return to normal. Massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, resulting in lifted spirits. It can also boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which are involved in depression.
A tight muscle cannot hold much fluid nor can it allow much fluid to pass through it. This decreases your circulation of blood and increases the strain placed on your heart. Massage Therapy releases contracted muscles and pushes venous blood towards the heart, thus easing the strain on this vital organ. This increase in circulation brings energy producing nutrients and oxygen to your cells as well as carries away metabolic waste products that make you feel sluggish and drained. In addition, Massage Therapy increases your body's oxygen carrying red blood cell count, helping to bring even more oxygen to your body's cells. Massage Therapy not only improves the circulation of blood and it's vital nutrients, but also increases the circulation of lymph in your lymphatic system thus helping your body to fight off infection and speeding your recovery from injuries and illness. Massage Therapy also increases disease fighting white blood cells.
Contracted muscles can press on or pinch your nerves causing tingling, numbness or pain. Massage therapy relaxes these contracted muscles to relieve the compression on your nerves. Sensory receptors in the skin and muscles wake up bringing new awareness to areas that have felt cut off by chronic tension patterns. Tension from everyday stress can also disrupt your sleep. Massage Therapy relaxes tense muscles and calms the nervous system, causing your body's rhythm to slow down. When this happens, your blood pressure lowers, your heart rate settles and your breath becomes deeper and more rhythmic, priming you for a perfect night's sleep. Massage Therapy can also reduce a person's number of migraine's as well as limit how painfull each migraine feels.