With more and more of people focusing on becoming more physically active during the summer, I feel this is a good time to talk about the benefits of massage after physical activity. During physical activity multiple systems of our body are being used like the: circulatory, respiratory, muscular, endocrine and nervous systems and they all receive benefits from massage.
Constricted muscles act like dams, blocking fluids from flowing freely throughout the body. Muscles need a steady flow of blood to get adequate oxygen and nutrients for energy necessary for muscular contraction and relaxation. The waste products of muscular metabolism are released into the venous blood supply to be transported out of the muscle and processed for removal from the body. When this process is disrupted the muscles become toxic from lack of nutrients and build-up of waste products and they can no longer perform their job effectively. Muscles that are chronically contracted disrupt the symmetry of balanced forces acting on the skeleton. When this happens our bones get out of position, causing postural imbalances that result in structural stress. This stress causes pain, loss of range of motion in a joint and loss of performance during physical activities.
We can counter those problems with regular massage and here’s how. First off, massage moves fluid through the body by manually flushing tense muscles of trapped blood and toxic waste. Secondly, massage can relieve the tension in muscle and get rid of trigger points that are causing pain. Thirdly, massage helps activate the lymphatic system alloying all of the toxic fluids that were building up to be released from the body. Lastly, massage calms the sympathetic nervous system (Fight or Flight) so the parasympathetic nervous system (Rest and Digest) can take over the bodily functions. With these benefit’s you can become physically active and stay that way for year’s to come.
Thank you for taking the time to read what I have to say.
Sean M. Devine, LMT
Reference- The Balanced Body, A Guide to Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular Therapy, 3rd Edition by Donald W. Scheumann