Updated: Oct 11
A massage is a pleasant experience for our body. The expert hands of the Therapist work the tissue with different techniques and intensities depending on the user's needs.
All people experience a feeling of relaxation and release regardless of the type of massage they have received. The body, even being a massage with vigorous maneuvers and pressure, experiences a well-being due to mobilization and the disappearance of knots and adhesion's. It can become like that pleasant pain that is appreciated because it is healing and the body knows it.
The benefit of massage does not remain on a physical level. The psyche undergoes changes caused by the stimulation of millions of receptors that send signals to the brain.
It all starts with the largest organ in the human body: the skin. Each square centimeter of skin contains 5,000 dedicated skin touch receptors that send nerve impulses to the brain through the spinal cord. The reception of this information generates a reaction with physiological and psychological effects.
The psychological effects of massage begin earlier. The way in which the user is received is very important: a pleasant temperature, soft music and a clean and comfortable space predispose the user to achieve all the favorable effects of practicing massage.
People not accustomed to this practice, those who are coming for the first time, may be reluctant to let go and manage to dedicate that time to themselves, allowing their body and mind to obtain the benefits of massage. A suitable environment can go a long way towards achieving this.
Massage and the sense of touch
Touch is the first sense to develop in the human embryo and it is the way we communicate when we still cannot speak. Contact between mother and baby promotes neurocognitive development and establishes a unique bond between them.
Contact is a necessary stimulus with emotional consequences associated with the neuronal circuit of the reward system, since the brain associates certain situations with beneficial and pleasant sensations.
The presence of tactile transfer sends signals to the brain, activating physiological mechanisms that produce emotional well-being. It increases the production of serotonin, endorphin and oxytocin, the natural chemicals that make us happy and lower cortisol levels.
This process has multiple benefits:
reduced level of anxiety
After a massage session, general well-being increases.
Massage and pain perception
Pain is a complex phenomenon with a somesthetic component and a subjective and emotional component.
The usual practice of proper massage dampens the intensity and is especially indicated in patients with chronic diseases. Rubbing the tissues causes a decrease in painful perception by blocking nociceptive stimuli. It is possible to increase the threshold of painful sensitivity with the consequent anesthetizing effect on the nerve endings.
Gentle massage techniques relax tension and muscle spasm by stimulating circulation and promoting venous return and elimination of pro-inflammatory substances.
Deep massage can break trigger point pain by causing hyperemia with histamine discharge into the tissue. The sensation is one of relief and relaxation by increasing endorphin levels.
Massage and its action on the nervous system
The nervous system regulates our vital activity. It captures and processes all kinds of signals from the body and the environment, directing and coordinating the functions of the organism.
Massage has effects on the central and peripheral nervous systems. The type of massage that is performed will be determined by the psychosomatic response that you want to achieve.
Effects of relaxing massage
decreases oxygen consumption and basal metabolism
increases the intensity and frequency of brain waves associated with deep relaxation
reduces the presence of blood lactates and anxiety-related substances
lowers blood pressure and muscle tension
It enhances sleep quality
Effects of invigorating and stimulating massage
contributes to improving states of apathy and low vital tone
increases physical and intellectual capacity
improves mood and perception of recovery
physically and psychologically prepares the athlete for the activity
Influence of massage on emotions and behavior
Massage leads the user to become self-aware. The contact of the masseur's hands stimulates the senses and leads to concentration on the moment and the action.
The aforementioned chemical reactions cause a conjunction of body and mind that translates into physical and emotional well-being: tensions and knots are unblocked and stress and anxiety are released. The body and mind are oxygenated and revitalized. A good masseur speaks with his hands: he stretches and relaxes tissues and thoughts and makes the person feel good in his own skin.
Massage as a routine integrated into personal care helps increase self-esteem. Body care provides security and confidence and promotes the acquisition of healthy eating and physical activity habits. All this encourages the development of social ties from a more generous and empathetic prism.
A massage well done is a great tool to balance the mind and body.
The history of massage is as old as the human being himself and its benefits have been recognized by all civilizations.