Whilst massage is often utilised by employers for its wellbeing, promotional and reward benefits for their staff, arguably it's greatest benefit is as a great (and immediate) stress-reliever - and if provided on a regular basis will have compound positive effects.
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Massage is beneficial to the body and the mind; here are some of the main benefits:
Muscular / Skeletal System
Tight muscles are manipulated and stretched increasing blood flow to the area, causing the muscle tissue to become warm and pliable. This increases blood flow to the area and aids the removal of lactic acid and waste products and leaves overworked muscles at ease and more relaxed.
Nerve endings are soothed which causes a dilation in the blood vessels improving circulation. Areas of tension around the eyes, neck and head area can be calmed by soothing the nerves and surrounding musculature. This can help reduce the symptoms of headaches, migraines, eyestrain, and neck tension.
Cardiovascular / Circulatory System
Massage enables the heart to ease into a resting heartrate which in turn reduces blood pressure. Within the blood vessels massages and nerve stimulation causes vasodilation, which in turn delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the cells and removes waste products such as carbon dioxide.
Direct massage on the abdominal area can facilitate elimination of waste through the large intestines by stimulating the peristalsis and helping with both constipation and gas problems. Although in a typical office massage treatment, the abdominal area is not massaged. Due to the relaxing effect massage has on the other systems, massage can reduce tension in the abdominal and intestinal walls which can help with problematic stomach cramps and IBS.
Endocrine / Glands System
The endocrine system secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream to regulate the body functions such as metabolism. When massage is applied to the body the general circulation is increased in the circulatory and the endocrine systems; thus, helping with the transportation of hormones this also aids the immune system as some hormones produce lymphocytes which respond to foreign invaders.
The lymphatic system has been referred to as the second circulatory system. Lymph nodes are scattered throughout the body and when massage is applied the flow of lymph throughout the body is assisted. As the lymphatic system eliminates the body of toxins and waste this helps to support the immune system to prevent disease. Lymphatic drainage massage aids in reducing oedema.
Psychological Benefits of Massage
The psychological benefits of massage can vary greatly from person to person but it is generally considered to be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety, and reducing pent up emotional feelings. It has been shown to leave persons feeling nurtured with greater sense of self-worth.