Start a Great Massage Habit with your Valentine ‘s Day Gift
It’s the season for love and, like flowers, massage is one of the ‘go-to’ gifts to give. But why stop at that? Why not give yourself a gift as well and book a couples massage for extra romance. And then, while you’re enjoying that massage, consider the health benefits – for you and your partner – of regular massage. Read on – and you’ll see that if it’s good for your body – then it’s good for your partner. Better still, if you can get couples massages as often as possible, it’s good for both of you…together.
Massage Therapy for Health and Fitness
It may simply look like a lot of pressing and kneading on skin, but massage is actually a scientific process. The reason you feel different after a massage is because it is healing and invigorating tired, aching or injured muscles. Massage increases blood and lymph circulation. Lymph is a fluid that rids body tissues of waste, is dependent on the squeezing effect of muscles. An active person has better lymph flow than an inactive person. However, stimulation from vigorous activity can lead to increased waste, which can negate the benefit. This is where massage has a huge advantage. Massage can dramatically aid lymph movement, which together with blood, supplies nutrients and oxygen and rids wastes and toxins. It is easy to understand why good circulation is so important to our health and why massage can be so beneficial just for this purpose.
Massage and Sport
Massage plays a part in every form of sport or exercise. Unfortunately, many people believe aches and pains are an inevitable consequence to activity. But massage can actually reduce or eliminate what may appear to be exercise-induced pain.
It can increase endurance, control fatigue and help people feel better when used as part of a regular health program. Massage can also speed muscle recovery rates as it eliminates irritation from waste. By helping reduce fatigue and aid recovery, massage enables more productive training, with longer, more effective workouts. The ultimate spin-offs are better performance with fewer injuries. Exercise changes the way our muscles work. Blood vessels become more intricate as the body demands more oxygen and nutrients and increases waste elimination. This takes time. While the muscles are getting into shape, they can struggle to get enough oxygen and nutrients, so waste collects.
Some Other Benefits of Massage
- Increase the blood’s oxygen capacity by 10-15%
- Help loosen contracted, shortened muscles and stimulate weak, flaccid muscles. This muscle “balancing” can even help posture and promote more efficient movement;
- Speed recovery from exercise-induced fatigue;
- Increase production of gastric juices, saliva and urine;
- Increase excretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, and sodium chloride (salt). This suggests that the metabolic rate increases;
- Balance the nervous system by soothing or stimulating it, depending on which effect is needed;
- Improves function of the oil and sweat glands that lubricate, clean and cool the skin. Though, inflexible skin can become softer and more supple;
- Indirectly or directly stimulating nerves the supply internal organs can dilate the organs’ blood vessels, improving blood supply.
For much of this content – Special Thanks to Allissa Haines and ‘Writing a Blue Streak‘, and to Butlers Body in Balance
Hamish and Rochelle