Why does Massage Therapy help with alleviating so many different health conditions?
In order to understand why Massage Therapy is so very beneficial in treating all different health challenges, you need to understand how the body works, especially muscle functions. Muscles lay on top of nerves, arteries and veins. Many muscle fibers make up an entire muscle. Muscles lay right next to each other with blood circulation flowing in between. The blood circulation brings nutrition and oxygen to the desired area and transports toxins and lactic acid away. When muscles get overused by repetitive movements, or poor posture, or a sudden injury, the muscle fibers lose their original muscle length and get shorter, cutting off some of the blood circulation.
At this point the entire natural flow between muscle contraction and muscle relaxation is interrupted. That is usually when people start complaining about muscle tightness, knots, discomfort and pain. This muscle dysfunction can happen anywhere in the body, and therefore can become the root cause of so many different conditions.
For example, sciatica, which is a condition that can be brought on by nerve impingement from a bulging disc in the low back. People usually experience pain in the low back as well as numbness or tingling in the effected side of their leg.
Interesting enough, the same symptoms can occur when the cause is muscular related. When muscles get tight and contracted in the hip, especially the Gluteal muscles and the Periformis, they can impinge the sciatic nerve. By loosening up the muscle tension (using a compression massage technique) it frees the sciatic nerve and symptoms disappear.
Massage therapy can be very helpful in alleviating pain in upper and lower back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and migraines, TMJ syndrome, abdominal cramping, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, carpal tunnel syndrome (to name just a few).
Massage therapy also influences the hormonal system. It relaxes the body and calms down the “fight and flight” responds. That’s why massages are a natural stress reliever and can helps with relieving anxiety.
Massage therapy increases blood circulation and blood flow. That is the key factor for ANY healing purpose as well as transporting nutrition to every cell in the body and taking away toxins and lactic acid.
Written by Ruth Mueller, May 2016