NEUROLOGICAL EFFECT OF MASSAGE

by FREEDOM UGOCHWUKU

The positive  effects of massage cannot be over emphasized. Massage is commonly known for its positive effects on the muscular system, but do you know that it also directly affects the nervous system?  The body is affected and controlled more by what it feels. The release of hormones are often triggered by feelings, touch and thought.

The nervous system comprises of the central nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord.  The  millions of nerve, together with blood vessels and a little connective tissue found in the nervous system are specialized for reception and transmission of signals. It works directly with the endocrine system, which regulates all the functions of the entire body by releasing hormones, or chemicals, that produce the desired physical response in our bodies in order to balance the health.

Studies have shown how basic techniques of massage triggers the release of certain hormones to promote sleep, excitement, brighten your mood, relieve headache-migraine, reverse depression, increase deep relaxation and relief from pain and stress.

 Here is a breakdown of how massage perform its effect on our bodies. A deep tissue massage stimulates receptors to different areas in the brain, when the brain receives these signals from the muscles, neurotransmitters and hormones are released to benefit the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems. This process requires the massage therapist to go deeper into the layers of muscle and soft tissue where the stronger connections to the brain are found. The Serotonin also referred to as the calming hormone, if low could result to depression, irritability and other implications in the nervous system. Using relaxation techniques during massage has proven to regulate and stimulate the production of this hormone from the brain in terms of appropriate emotions. This has a calming effect on the nerves, reducing irritability, depression and other forms of disorder in the nervous system and the whole body. This hormone also promotes sleep. Applying the power of touch through massage promotes the flow of serotonin from the brain.

An integral part of massage therapy is Music. Music has a significant effect on the brain and the entire nervous system. Naturally, humans produces music. There are beats  in our heart  rate, as well as rhythm in  our  breaths  and  movement. Our  range  of  emotions  can  be  expressed  in different  rhythms  and harmony. During a massage therapy, as you apply the power of touch throughout the muscles in their different layers softly, slowly and gently, a cool and gentle rhythm causes the  body to be more relaxed. This helps the mind clears itself from all existing distractions that are in form of thought, till the mind is brought to live in its present moment in absolute calmness and relaxation. Music in massage therapy is a tool for stimulating excitement. During massage therapy the use of gentle and mild music stimulates the brain to secrete a hormone called dopamine, which is also called the happy hormone. Low level of this hormone can cause clumsiness, restlessness, fatigue, stress and tiredness.

Endorphins is another  hormone know as the body natural pain killer. Deep tissue massage and the use of pressure points on the body sends signals to the nervous system, particularly the brain to release more of this hormone in its  appropriate proportion.

The use of deep tissue massage and trigger points techniques on the muscles in its different layers causes the brain to  release endorphins known to relieve pain.

Emphasizing the importance of massage, studies have shown that massage therapy carried out by a qualified therapist is the healthiest for natural stress relief,  pain relief and relaxation compared to the use of synthetic drugs. Hospitals encourage their patients to undergo  massage therapy sections to promote relaxation before surgical operations are carried out on them.

It’s important to make massage therapy a lifestyle.

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