Updated: Nov 23, 2018
There are many benefits of getting a massage. Receiving a massage can help improve your health and your happiness. There are some key components of your body that greatly benefit from massage that most don't think of. The first thing that comes to mind is relieving stress, but here are 8 parts of the body that a massage recipient can also improve as part of their experience.
1. System Detox
Your body's immune system is the defense against infectious organisms. It is through the immune response that the immune system attacks substances that invade the body and cause disease.
The immune system is comprised of a network of cells, tissues, and organs. This system of parts work together to protect the body against disease. One of the important cells involved are white blood cells, also known as leukocytes. Leukocytes are produced or stored in the thymus, spleen, and in your bone marrow. There is also lymphoid tissue throughout the body, primarily as lymph nodes, that contain leukocytes.
Leukocytes circulate throughout the body between organs and nodes via lymphatic and blood vessels. This is the primary method for which the immune system works to monitor the body for germs and other substances that might cause issues.
The lymphatic system is crucial to the function of your immune system. As you receive a massage, the therapist works on flushing blood through your muscles and tissue. This act also drains the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes filter out dead cells, waste and possible pathogens. By your massage therapist working the blood flow it can help in draining the lymphatic system and assist sluggish lymph nodes that may not be working optimally. This act may reduce edema.
2. Heart Health
The cardiovascular system is effectively a closed loop. Venous return is the flow of blood back into the heart. Vasodilation is the widening of the blood vessels that results from relaxation of smooth muscles. A full body massage promotes vadodilation and your venous return, which improves the blood flow and oxygen to your body's systems.
Your entire cardiovascular system relaxes as part of a massage which helps to regulate and improve your blood pressure and heart rate.
3. Skin Glow and Health
The act rubbing massage lotion into your body's skin during a massage will improve the look and health of your skin. First, the moisture provided to the epidermis layer keeps the skin from drying out and flaking. The other primary benefit is the exfoliation effect of rubbing the oil in during massage. Exfoliation removes the oldest dead skin cells from your skin's outermost surface. This process promotes new skin cells to appear.
Massage not only feels good on the skin and muscles of your body but ultimately improves the look of it as well.
4. Reduce of Stress
One doesn't need to study massage to know that it can reduce stress as that is the primary reason most people choose to engage in getting a massage. However, massage can decrease levels of cortisol and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. In studies where cortisol was measured, significant decreases in cortisol levels were seen. These average decreases were approximately 31%. In the studies where serotonin and dopamine were measured, an average increase of 28% for serotonin and an average increase of 31% for dopamine was seen.
Increasing serotonin and dopamine has significant health benefits and shows the assistance of massage therapy on medical conditions and stress.
5. Improved Skeletal System
Your bones need blood too. By receiving a massage, a massage therapist increases blood flow to not only the muscles within your body but the skeletal system as well. The blood that flows to your bones provides essential calcium, minerals and oxygen that promotes strength and improved function.
6. Breath Right
Much of the stress the builds in your body gathers in your shoulders, neck and chest. This stress and muscle tension makes it more difficult to breath and constricts the lung function. By having shorter breathing your body receives less oxygen to fuel the blood stream and body health.
Massage therapy can help you relax and breath deeper. Oxygen helps our body destroy harmful bacteria without impacting the beneficial bacteria we need. Deep breaths bring in vital oxygen that is vital to our digestive system, proper metabolic functions, and assists in the elimination of cellular and other waste.