The Effects of Massage (2)

The Circulatory System also benefits from the action of massage. Its takes the pressure of the arteries and veins, accelerating the flow of blood through the system providing relief for poor circulation and cardiac problems. The heartbeat strengthens, the rate of the heartbeat decreases and high blood pressure is reduced.

The Lymphatic System is stimulated and the flow of lymph is accelerated throughout the system. As the massage strokes are performed, the waste and poisonous substances which have accumulated in our over-stressed bodies are rapidly eliminated. When we sustain injuries, there is often a great deal of oedema (swelling) which should be dispersed into the lymphatic circulation. Massage can empty the lymph vessels and allow the swelling to disperse. If this fluid is not moved on, it becomes semi-solid and thus is unable to pass into lymph vessels. Therefore, it sticks to the surrounding tissues (muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments) and form what are known as ‘adhesions’. If adhesions form in a joint then movement will be restricted permanently.

The Respiratory System responds as increased activity in the lungs is stimulated by massage. As the treatment proceeds, the breath slows and deepens. If necessary, mucus and bronchial secretions can be encouraged to leave the lungs by percussive movements on the back and over the lungs.

The Digestive System benefits when massage promotes the peristaltic activity (wave-like motion) in the colon enhancing the elimination of faecal matter and combating constipation. It strengthens the muscular walls of the intestines and abdomen, and stimulates the secretion of digestive juices from the liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines. As well as helping the digestion and elimination of food, massage also increases absorption of digested foods.

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