Massage therapy is widely celebrated as a means to relax the mind and body. It helps release stress and tension and helps restore balance and health - but how?
The following sections will help you understand on how massage therapy impacts the whole body:
The Mind and Massage Therapy
Have you ever heard that humans struggle with “monkey brain?” Monkey brain is the incessant, uncontrollable chattering that happens in our subconscious mind. This chattering is often chaotic, jumping from topic to topic without any real conclusion. Massage therapy works a lot like meditation, helping clients learn how to control monkey brain and focus their thoughts. This helps them address sources of stress or anxiety so they can better cope with them, staving off mental exhaustion and depression.
The Circulatory System and Massage Therapy
While the mind relaxes during a massage therapy session, the body’s circulatory system is actually put to work - in a good way. As the body is massaged, it releases stress chemicals which are then flushed out through the bloodstream. This not only reduces stress levels, but increases blood circulation as well. Increased blood flow carries more oxygen, and thus energy, to the body’s extremities. More energy means the body can work at keeping itself healthy, lowering the risk of high blood pressure and strokes.
The Physical Body and Massage Therapy
The same way increased blood flow enhances health, it improves the state of the physical body. The energy and nutrients from the blood help the body’s muscles release tension and heal faster between workout sessions. This is especially important for clients with injuries, chronic illness or fitness regimes. Specific strokes and stretches can also be incorporated into massage sessions to improve the body’s mobility and flexibility.
Modalities for the Mind and Body
To get the most benefit from massage, clients should work closely with their therapist to discuss their needs. From there, the therapist can design a treatment plan that includes modalities, such as swedish, deep tissue or lymphatic drainage, that can best address those needs with targeted strokes and touches. To better learn how you can tailor massage to have the most beneficial impact on the mind and body, be sure to choose a massage therapy training school that offers a balanced education with options for continuous education.