Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Everyone loves good pampering. Massages are great for this. It turns out there are tons of benefits of bodywork that are more than just relaxing and unwinding. The scientific benefits behind massage have been studied for centuries. In India, in 3000 BCE (or earlier), massage was considered a sacred form of healing. Since then, the practice of massage has been passed down for generations to speed the healing of injuries, relieve pain, and prevent illnesses.
Although there are many obvious and scientifically-backed benefits of receiving a massage, there are an equal amount of false claims and biases. In this article, we will explore the top myths about massage and debunk them.
What Science Has To Say
According to the Florida Academy, massage has the following benefits:
Decreases Arginine Vasopressin (AVP), which is the hormone that constricts blood vessels, raises blood pressure, and reduces urine excretion.
Reduces the stress hormone, cortisol
Increases lymphocytes, the white blood cells that attack cancer
Moderates inflammation, especially during recovery of injured muscles. This happens by changing the gene expression and promoting the biogenesis of mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell).
Helps fight infection by boosting the immune system. This happens by increasing the activity of white blood cells.
Massage improves muscular tension and dysfunction
Massage improves circulation of the lymph system
Top Massage Myths: Debunked
1. Massage Releases Toxins
First, let’s discuss the definition of a toxin.
Toxin: “a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation”
Detoxification: “to remove a harmful substance (such as a poison or toxin) or the effect of such”
Massage does not remove toxins that are stored in the body. There is no medical proof of this and most doctors agree that it is very unlikely. However, massage therapy will help to increase blood flow to all parts of the body, which can promote healing to areas affected by injury. Sometimes when you are under physical, emotional, or chemical stress, the lymphatic system can become stagnant. Since massage increases the flow of the lymph fluid, the fluid can move the stagnant compounds.
Massage can prevent environmental toxins! Because massage can help boost your immune system, it can help your body fight off some of the harmful effects of environmental toxins; but it doesn’t flush them from your system.
2. All Massages are the Same
False! Each type of massage has its role. That’s why I make it my mission to understand each client and their needs. This way I can form a special ”Taylor Made” bodywork plan for them.
3. The Effects of Massage are Temporary
Although the effects are the strongest immediately, massage is great for long-term wellness. This is especially true if you are consistent with the practice. As a massage therapist, I can "retrain" muscles' memory. This helps to reduce pain and stress on a body long after a session is complete. Having a regular massage scheduled is a great tool for a healthy lifestyle, and can be extremely beneficial for those with chronic pain or mobility issues.
4. Massage is Only For Muscles
As a skillful bodyworker, I can help alleviate swollen joints by gently moving stagnant synovial fluid. I can stretch tightened areas of the connective tissue to relieve pressure. I can also help the nervous system by taking it from “flight or fight” to “rest and digest” mode.
5. Don’t Interrupt the Massage Therapist, Even if the Massage is Painful
Absolutely not! There is a “good hurt” while getting a massage. But, you know your body and pain threshold the best. It’s important to be comfortable while receiving bodywork. It is my mission to make every client feel heard and comfortable. In my sessions, I stress the importance of communication between myself and my client.
The Bottom Line
After decades of experience, I can ensure that massage therapy has a vast amount of perks. There is a lot of jargon out there. Schedule an appointment with a trusted professional, such as myself.
If you’re interested in learning more on how to care for your physical health, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/taylormadebodyworks
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