During massage the body goes through physiological changes that are referred to as the relaxation and mechanical responses. The relaxation response is an involuntary response by the nervous system, caused by various massage techniques. Mechanical responses are the physical effects that occur to the body from applied pressure to soft tissue by the massage therapists.
- Relaxation response is a state in which your heart rate and breathing slow, blood pressure goes down, muscles relax and the production of stress hormones decrease. In addition the relaxation response can increase levels of serotonin, which is a chemical in the body that positively affects emotions and thoughts. This response caused by massage may decrease physical effects of stress and reduce risks associated with stress, such as digestive disorders, hypertension , cardiac arrhythmias, anxiety, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, physiological issues and many more.
- Mechanical response is the physical manipulation in massage, it has two major effects; Increase blood and lymph circulation and the relaxation and normalization of the soft tissue. Improved circulation can increase the delivery oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells. The benefit of this is that as cellular health improves tissue functioning to more efficiently remove waste products, and the increase in absorption of fluids to reduce swelling in soft tissues. The relaxation of muscle tissue will reduce painful contractions and spasms as well as reducing nerve compression. The relaxing of superficial (closest to the skin) muscles through massage can affect the deeper muscles and tissues as well as organs in relieving distress or dysfunction; therefore, improving the functioning of both muscles and organs.
These response occurrences help relieve and combat the stresses we encounter every day both mentally and physically. Schedule an appointment with one of Scott Family Health’s massage therapists at either our Loveland or Ft. Collins offices to unwind and experience the benefits of massage therapy.