Massage is a holistic therapy. It has effect on both body and mind. Massage increases the circulation of blood and flow of lymph. The direct mechanical effect to rhythmically applied manual pressure and movement used in massage can dramatically increase the rate of blood flow. Also, the stimulation of nerve receptors causes the blood vessels (by reflex action) to dilate, which also facilitates blood flow. This has profound influence on one’s health.
Massage is also known to cause changes in the blood. The oxygen capacity of the blood can increase 10-15% after massage. Massage affects muscles throughout the body. It can help loosen contracted, shortened muscles and can stimulate weak, flaccid muscles.
Massage also provides a gentle stretching action to both the muscles and connective tissues that surround and support the muscles and many other parts of the body, which helps keep these tissues elastic.
It increases the body’s secretions and excretions. There is a proven increase in the production of gastric juices, saliva, and urine. There is also increased excretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, and sodium chloride (salt). This suggests that the metabolic rate increases after a massage session.
There are noticeable effects on the nervous system. Massage balances the nervous system by soothing or stimulating it, depending on which effect is needed by the individual at the time of the massage.
It enhances the skin health. Massage directly improves the function of the sebaceous (oil) and sweat glands, which keep the skin lubricated, clean, cooled.
Lastly, it has a tremendous effect on the internal organs. Massage affects by indirectly or directly stimulating nerves that supply internal organs, blood vessels of these organs dilate and allow greater blood supply to them.