Massage can stimulate the release of endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine through stimulating the autonomic nervous system. An increase in the levels of endorphins can leave the individual feeling a reduction in pain and an increase in relaxation and calmness. Massage can reduce feelings of stress.
What are the effects of massage?
Massage benefits can include:
- Reducing stress and increasing relaxation.
- Reducing pain and muscle soreness and tension.
- Improving circulation, energy and alertness.
- Lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
- Improving immune function.
How does massage affect the sympathetic nervous system?
Massage causes the release of endorphins which has been shown to reduce pain and muscle tension. Massage can help to reduce irritated receptors in the muscles by reducing overactivity in the sympathetic nervous system.
What body systems are affected by massage?
Following is a list of major organ systems and how massage can assist:
- Circulatory System.
- Endocrine System.
- Gastrointestinal (Digestive) System.
- Integumentary System.
- Lymphatic system.
- Muscular System.
- Nervous System.
- Reproduction System.
What are the effects of massage on the nervous and endocrine system?
Massage helps to reduce levels of adrenaline and norepinephrine, hormones produced by the adrenal glands which activate your fight or flight response. When these hormones are present in your body, muscles are tense and your heart rate increases. Massage also aids in the reduction of cortisol, the stress hormone.
What are reflex effects of massage?
The two main types of effects of massage are mechanical and reflex. Mechanical effects involve direct physical effects of massage techniques on the tissues they contact. Reflex effects are the indirect effects on body functions and tissues through the response of the nervous or energetic systems of the body.
What are the effects of massage on the circulatory system?
Good circulation brings damaged, tense muscles the oxygen rich blood they need to heal. Massage facilitates circulation because the pressure created by the massage technique actually moves blood through the congested areas. The release of this same pressure causes new blood to flow in.
What effect does massage have on the respiratory system?
Massage works in helping your respiratory function by loosening and lengthening the muscles that have become contracted and which have suppressed normal breathing. Posture also improves greatly with massage, which, in turn, opens the chest area to improve lung function.
How does massage stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system?
Massage therapy activates pressure receptors under the skin that will relay messages to the brain, shifting our systems to parasympathetic dominance (5, 1).
What are the psychological effects of massage?
Massage therapy has been known to lower stress, decrease anxiety, and reduce irritability. Along with increasing brain serotonin and dopamine, the combination of these effects lead to a happier individual.