When Massage Is Called For
Massage is a useful tool in many ways for many situations. You can use massage to promote relaxation. You can use massage to reduce pain, to encourage healing, and to dispel scar tissue and adhesions. You can also use massage to help restore mobility, improve circulation, and aid in digestion and elimination.
Relaxing Stiff Muscles
Massage can ease stiff muscles and muscle spasms caused by physical stress. In relaxing tense muscles, massage can also ease mental and emotional stress, a benefit often recognized by people seeking relief with massage. Receiving massage helps the receiver make some positive changes in body, mind, and spirit.
What is a muscle spasm?
Properly functioning muscles are smooth with no discernable kinks. A spasm causes a kind of bump to appear along the muscle line, like a kink or knot in a rope. Stress on a muscle may cause these twists and kinks to appear, interfering with proper muscle operation.
Stress and repetitive motion are often the cause of tight, stiff muscles. Sitting for long periods of time causes stress, and anyone who works sitting down all day can testify to this. Sitting, whether in an office or a vehicle, will eventually cause tightness in the neck, back, and leg muscles. Regular massage helps to prevent or alleviate this symptom of stress.
People who walk all day in their jobs or exercise constantly in a particular way often feel tight and stiff, too. Lifting and pulling can also create a pattern of injury. Whatever the motion, if it is repeated often enough without proper care to form, it may cause muscle damage in the form of spasm or restriction of motion. Changing how we execute a task coupled with exercise and massage helps to prevent further injury and repair old problems.
Think about the stiff neck and shoulders that many folks complain of, or the painful lower back and hips that prevent participation in many events. These are generally attributed to repetitive motion. Every action we take eventually becomes repetitive, simply by the act of living and aging. Often massage can alleviate these painful symptoms.
Recovery from Injury
Once someone has sustained an injury, massage is often helpful during the recovery period and beyond. Areas that have required stitches, upon healing, benefit from massage to assist in preventing scar tissue and releasing adhesions. An adhesion is fibrous tissue that results from an inflammatory process that starts during the healing of separated tissue, as in surgery or an injury. Adhesions can limit muscle movement. Massage stimulates the system allowing the blood to flow effectively to all areas of the body, especially areas of injury. This nourishment helps the healing process, promoting skin and muscle health. The muscles become firmer and the skin becomes more supple with the application of massage. Just think, as you massage your family and friends you are helping them to operate at their best.