Why have massage?
You might come for massage to offset the repeated use of certain parts of your body in work or sport. You may have a specific physical issue you would like to address, be recovering from injury be in a period of stress or at a time of transition. You might want to come for massage as a way of taking care of yourself in general, to give time to yourself and experience the well-being of reconnecting with yourself and your body.
What is holistic massage?
In holistic massage each treatment is tailored to the individual, taking into consideration your purpose in coming for massage, your overall health in all aspects and how you are at the time. This means that a treatment can be directed more towards therapeutic work on a particular area of muscular tension, or more towards overall relaxation and well-being, depending on your needs and wishes.
Rebalancing the nervous system
To maintain health – or the physiological balance known as homeostasis – our body needs to enter a state where the maintenance and repair of body tissues can take place. This is the ‘rest and digest‘ state, where the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged.
The opposite of this is the fight or flight response (the sympathetic nervous system), where there are high levels of hormones that enable us get away from danger. While being a vital part of to our ability to survive, if the stress response of the fight or flight state is ongoing, this results in suppression of the immune system, reduced digestion and absorption of nutrients, elevation of blood pressure, contraction of muscle tissue and therefore muscular tension and pain.
Massage allows the body to enter into a state of relaxation where renewal of tissues can take place, providing of fuel and removal of wastes from the skin, digestive tract, organs and extremities. The factors associated with resistance to infection are increased, and in this state the calm, centredness and well-being of relaxation are present.
The benefits and effects of massage
- Increases joint mobility by reducing the thickening of tissue and breaking down adhesions and scar tissue.
- Enhances blood flow to tissues, increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients and removal of waste products and toxins
- Reduces muscular tightness and stiffness
- Temporarily lowers the heart rate and reduces blood pressure
- Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing the stress-response, stimulating digestion and promoting relaxation
- Decreases anxiety and tension through relaxing mind and body, giving a feeling of well-being. Can enhance one’s sense of self-esteem.