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More About Massage > Massage: Relaxation Modality or a Healing Therapy?



BOTH! Massage affects your body, mind and emotions. If you are a person who has no aches and pains, and whose body moves the way you want and need it to, massage can be used to relax and relieve everyday stress. Gliding strokes relax your muscles and the rhythm can relax the mind. You reconnect with yourself almost in a meditative state. After a relaxation massage you feel refreshed and renewed. Massage is a great way to maintain health and vitality.

Massage is also a great tool to use for a healing therapy! While short term effects of massage are decreased heart rate, muscle relaxation and increased mood, massage can also release adhesions, elongate shortened muscles, relax contractions, reduce pain and assist body alignment. It is used to promote joint function, flexibility, and range of motion. It can enhance tissue repair and improve connective tissue health. Massage increases circulation to skin, muscles, and organs. Massage affects the tissues of the skin, the skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, and lymphatic, respiratory, digestive and ultimately all body systems. (Tappan’s Handbook of Healing Massage Techniques; p.40-59, Benjamin)  


Integumentary System

Stimulate sensory receptors in skin

Increase superficial circulation

Facilitate healthy scar formation

Skeletal System

Promote optimal joint flexibility & ROM

Promote proper skeletal alignment

Muscular System

Milk metabolic wastes in venous & lymph flow

Elicit muscle relaxation

Enhance connective tissue health

Release myofascial adhesions

Nervous System

Stimulate relaxation response

Reduce Pain

Endocrine System

Release of endorphins with nervous syst.

Cardiovascular System

Increase general and local circulation

Reduce blood pressure and heart rate

Lymphatic System

Increase lymph fluid movement

Improve immune function

Respiratory System

Encourage diaphragmatic breathing

Relax muscles of respiration

Digestive System

Improve digestion with relaxation 

Facilitate bowel movement

Urinary System

Enhance circulation to kidneys

Increase urinary production

Reproductive System

Improve reproductive function with relaxation

Pain Reduction

Relieve muscle pain from tension and poor circulation

Deactivate myofascial trigger points

Induce release of endorphins

Massage can also reduce anxiety and promote feelings of general well being.

These effects do not occur during every massage session. The technique used and the qualities of movement help determine which effects are likely to occur.

(From Table 3-1 pg42&43 Tappans Handbook for Healing Massage Technique, Benjamin) 

For more information or to schedule a massage appointment,
please call Lorie Pearsall, LMT @ 315-391-1228 or e-mail loriepearsall@frontier.com

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