Physiological effect of massage on the human body

by: Boris Prilutsky

Two factors define the physiological effect of massage on humans:

1. The local or mechanical factor is expressed by mechanical acceleration of venous blood drainage, some degree of lymph drainage acceleration, passive exercise for soft tissues, breaking down deposits of calcium in soft tissue and stimulation of its removal from the body.

2. The main power of massage therapy is in reflexive therapy. By mobilizing skin, connective and muscular tissue, we deform the mechano-receptors, which in turn release action potentials/impulses. Through neurological pathways these electrical impulses stimulate motor and vasomotor centers. As a reflex, or involuntary reaction of organs and systems to original stimuli, the body responds by expressing positive changes such as: muscular relaxation, vasadilation, reduction of blood pressure, reduction of stress hormones production, etc.

To ensure that we achieve the most profound physiological effect on the body of the client, massage should be performed as deep as possible. The deeper we massage, the more we stimulate the nervous centers, and the faster and to a greater degree the reflexive therapeutic effects occur, the greater would be the production of endorphin and the greater affect of all other positive factors listed earlier.
Note that deep tissue mobilization does not require excessive pressure. Pressure should be significant but shouldn’t activate pain analyzing system, which could be recognized by two different factors:

1. Muscular protective spasm as a response to excessive pressure.

2. Client’s reports “too much pressure” even in absence of the protective muscular spasm.

Note:In order to achieve successful results in any type of massage, 50 percent of the procedure time should be spent on kneaduing. If you would like to get familiar with the proper way to perform kneading and to learn 12 petrissage techniques, utilized in Medical Massage please.


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