We all experience pain in our daily lives.
In more serious cases, pain that has occurred most commonly by injury or illness and has lasted for 12 weeks or more, may be considered “Chronic Pain”. As pain is the most common known cause of increased stress, anxiety and depression, chronic pain needs paid attention.
One of the most popular ways to reduce pain is by having a massage. Massage therapy aims to disturb the pain cycle by reducing and relieving pain and prevent it from recurring.
What are the effects of Massage Therapy on our body and how does it relieve pain?
Stimulates Blood Flow
When having massage therapy, the applied pressure coming from the therapist’s touch to our skin causes friction. This friction stimulates blood flow in the treatment area and this causes our body to experience an increased temperature. This helps relieve muscle tightness and tension as well as increase relaxation and reduce stress which overall reduces the symptoms of chronic pain.
Removes Buildup of Waste Products
Have you ever experienced profuse sweating when having a massage?
The increased temperature not only relieves tight muscles, but it also stimulates the lymphatic system which removes waste products from the body.
This is important as one of the factors of prolonged pain is the accumulation of waste and often toxic products in our body. When waste products build up in the muscle, it makes it weak and fatigued, making it harder for the muscle to recover from pain.
During a massage, more waste products are removed from the body due to the stimulation of the lymphatic system, thus reducing the pain the body is experiencing.
Ever wondered what gives you that feeling of being recharged and energetic after a massage?
Chronic pain feels worse due to stress. When stress levels are high, it can also lead to depression and anxiety which can further intensify the pain.
A massage not only relaxes the muscles, but it also stimulates the nervous system which is responsible for releasing happy hormones such as Endorphins, Serotonin, and Dopamine.
An increase in blood flow means an increase of distribution of these hormones to the body replacing anxiety and stress with feelings of relaxation, happiness, and enthusiasm.
Increase Flexibility and Range of Movement
It is common to feel like muscle movement is restricted when you have pain in a certain area. This is because when we experience damage to the body, muscles contract around the area as a way to prevent any further damage from occurring. When muscles contract, tension increases making movement very restricted.
When a massage is applied to a damaged area, temperature increases with the friction. The increased temperature reduces tissue inelasticity allowing muscles to stretch to their full length, increasing range of movement. When range of movement is increased through a reduction in muscle tightness and tension, pain is also reduced.
What are the different types of massage therapies?
The most common and accessible kind of massage to relieve pain is Therapeutic Massage which basically aims to promote relaxation and wellbeing by stimulating the skin and nervous system and reducing emotional and physical stress.
The main benefit of this massage is to provide a sense of calmness and well-being by increasing feel-good hormones. Therapeutic Massage can be used on a regular basis to maintain relaxation and healthy muscle condition.
Deep tissue massage on the other hand focuses on specific areas of the body that are in need for healing and relief. It can be used to treat adhesions in muscles, break down hard fibrous tissue and realign them back to normal. It targets the inner layers of your muscle and it is primarily used to treat chronic pain, muscle and sports related injuries.
There’s also Remedial Massage, used to manipulate and treat soft tissues alongside providing a therapeutic effect utilising a wide range of massage techniques that also decrease muscular tension, reduce pain and mentally relax the body.
A lesser known although powerful massage technique is Psychosomatic Massage therapy, it provides a deeper mind body (Bodymind) connection. The massage therapist works through muscle to connect with the cellular memory created within the body internally. These memories affect the mental emotional and physical structure of the body formation and its actions and reactions, externally.
The three keys to the Psychosomatic process are focus, balance and structure.
Each session you experience creates an atmosphere of centering the mind and bringing balance in behaviour which results in improved performance, self confidence and stability.
To find out which massage therapy would be most beneficial to help you relieve pain, speak to our Gravity staff or book here for your massage.