What is the use of massage?
It would seem that today almost everyone knows what massage is. However, according to a recent survey in our country of people who suffer from various disorders in the spine, only 27% of patients resorted to medical massage to cure or reduce unpleasant symptoms. More than 85% of those who received massage reported that this method helped them – at least alleviated their suffering. However, it is clear that most patients did not even think of using massage as a treatment technique.
The fact is that for most people only the tip of the iceberg is visible – the smallest fraction of information about the effect of massage on the body: that massage acts mechanically. This is understandable – the massage therapist rubs, kneads, squeezes, stretches, compresses and displaces various body tissues, contributing, among other things, to strengthening the circulation of lymph, blood and interstitial fluid and the removal of dying skin cells. The mechanical effect during massage eliminates stagnation in the body, enhances metabolism and skin respiration. Only this is only part of the impact.
An important component of medical massage, usually known only to specialists, is its reflex and humoral effect. First of all, massage has an effect on the central and autonomic nervous system. During the massage, irritation of the receptors of the skin, muscles, tendons, joint bags, ligaments and vessel walls occurs. Then the impulses caused by this irritation are transmitted to the central nervous system and reach the corresponding sections of the cerebral cortex. There arises a general complex reaction that causes functional changes in the body. This mechanism was described in detail in the works of the Russian physiologist I. P. Pavlov: any irritation of the nerve receptors is transformed into a signal that, through wires, runs through the nerve waves to the central nervous system and from there through other “wires” is brought to the working body, being transformed into a specific process of cells of this organ.
Thus, with the help of massage, you can control the functions of various organs. Carrying out this or that method, the massage therapist causes a completely definite and predictable reaction of the patient’s body. And with the right impact, the result will be beneficial.
In addition, under the influence of massage in the skin biologically active substances, tissue hormones are formed and enter the bloodstream, with the help of which vascular reactions, transmission of nerve impulses and other processes occur. Under the influence of massage, the formation of histamine and its like substances occurs, spreading by the flow of blood and lymph throughout the body and having a beneficial effect on blood vessels, internal organs and systems. In particular, acting on the adrenal glands, histamine causes an increased secretion of adrenaline. Another compound, acetylcholine, acts as an active mediator in the transmission of a nerve signal from one nerve cell to another, thereby creating favorable conditions for the activity of skeletal muscles, and also helps to expand small arteries and improve breathing.
All this once again proves that with the help of massage we use our “internal pharmacy”. Massage helps us cope with health problems without drugs, using our own reserves of the body. Massage is a powerful tool in the hands of a specialist that allows you to influence the patient’s condition, however, the results of such an impact entirely depend on who holds this tool.
Massage brings great benefits to the body, a long time ago, scientists conducted research, and proved the beneficial effect of massage not only on the human body, but also on its internal processes. When using mechanical massage techniques, dead cells are removed from the skin of a person, due to which skin respiration is significantly improved. The excretory processes of the sebaceous and sweat glands are also enhanced, as a result of which, after applying the massage, the skin becomes soft and elastic.
After therapeutic massage, the joints and ligaments become more mobile, the outflow of venous blood is accelerated. All types of massage increase endurance and muscle performance. Massage of the abdomen lowers blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
Different methods of massage act on tissues of different depths, but, nevertheless, any type of massage has a beneficial effect not only on the massaged part, but reflexively benefits the whole body.
Massage has a beneficial effect on the human nervous system, an excited person after applying the massage stroking, calms down and falls asleep well, sleep becomes deep and calm.
The section on techniques and types of massage was prepared with the support of Benefit. We offer massage chairs, massage wraps and massage pillows. See also the resource “Prevention and treatment of the spine”, information and analytical portal about massage equipment.