Massage- What is it and why is it so great?

neck-massage

Our ‘First Class’ Physiotherapists have been especially busy this week providing relaxing and remedial massages for our patients. We decided what better time to describe what massage is and what it can do to help you in our latest blog!

What is massage?

Massage has been around for hundreds of years as a means of using touch, pressure and stroking to relax, relieve stress and promote good circulation in different areas of the body. This in turn speeds up healing time, and new healthy cell production.

Types of massage

We offer two types of massage. The first is a Swedish massage. This is our most gentle massage, where we use stroking, kneading and pressure of the soft tissues to encourage increased blood flow to the tissues providing warmth and relaxation.

The second is sports massage or deep tissue massage. This is not so gentle, but is excellent for releasing deep set tension in muscles, as well as removing adhesions and toxins which cause tightness and pain between the soft tissues of the body.

How does massage work?

The blood vessels of your body are 1. arteries (which deliver oxygenated blood to the organs, including the skin), 2. veins (which take the de-oxygenated blood back to the heart) and 3. capillaries, which are the tiny vessels found everywhere in the body and “join up” the arteries and veins. When you’re cold, your blood vessels narrow (called vasoconstriction) to keep the warm blood away from the surface of the skin, and conversely when you’re warm, the blood vessels widen (vasodilation) to let the heat from your blood out into the air (that’s why you get red when you’re hot).

Continually kneading and stroking the skin will naturally increase the heat in the tissues and therefore stimulate blood flow. The increased blood flow will bring new blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to supply the tissues that are being massaged, as well as help remove the build-up of toxins and lactic acid.

Manual shifting of the tissues can help increase joint range of motion and muscle flexibility, and the increase in circulation and nutrients to the area means that when new tissues are formed, they are healthier and more supple.

During a sports massage, the physical “knocking out” of tense bumpy tissues will allow you to stretch better and move more smoothly, whilst the removal of waste products will help cut down your DOMS period (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and help you recover faster from the hardest of workouts.

Finally, the idea of massage as a pampering, luxurious treatment has not been around for centuries without reason. Your body will soon relax to the rhythm of massage, your breathing will slow, and the heat transferred from the therapist’s hands will help you into that serene state of mind.

If you would like to gift one of these fantastic treatments to someone with a Gift Voucher, or just spoil yourself, please give us a call on 0141 2372 721 or drop us an email to info@firstclassphysio.co.uk.

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