Massage is a form of physical therapy that involves applying pressure to the body's soft tissues. This pressure can have both mechanical and relaxation responses on the body. Mechanical responses are the physical effects produced on the body by the pressure that massage therapists apply to soft tissues. These effects can include a decrease in heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and stress hormones.
Additionally, massage can stimulate nerves and sensory receptors, sending messages to the brain through nerve pathways in the spinal cord. This activates the parasympathetic system, which further slows down body activity. One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm. This is because massage causes the release of endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that produce feelings of well-being.
Massage also helps with lymph flow, as the lymphatic system relies on movement to transport lymph throughout the body. Overall, massage can have a calming and balancing effect on the nervous system. It can help reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, decrease stress hormones, and produce feelings of relaxation and well-being. By preparing muscles for what comes next, massage can also be used as part of a more focused massage session.