Why A Massage Is So Powerful For Your Body
Our 7 octillion atoms and 37 trillion cells together with the 11 key systems that operate our bodies have one common purpose – to keep us functioning well so we can enjoy a long and happy life. A body massage can be a powerful thing to do, as it works on every body system.
If fueled well and properly cared for, our bodies are astonishing machines that can achieve amazing things – from ‘Hold my beer’ stunts to major feats of endurance – right through to creating a whole new life.
You might be surprised to learn that a good body massage has valuable therapeutic effects on those 37 trillion cells of yours and – in particular – on your eleven very busy body systems.
We get it – you probably associate massage purely with pampering and relaxation. However massage positively impacts your health and every inch of your body in a variety of healthy ways.
Let us give you a guided tour – walk this way please:
The Integumentary System
All joking aside, this barely pronounceable system is your first line of defense from the outside world. It consists – on average – of 2.2 square metres of skin, it weighs between 3.5 and 5kg and is the largest organ in your body.
And guess what? Your Integumentary system adores a body massage! Why? Because it improves its condition, texture and tone, helps it to repair, opens its pores to eliminate waste and gets it all exfoliated, moisturised and looking fabulous.
The Muscular System
Right now you are sitting on the Gluteus Maximus and it is your Muscular System’s most valuable player, its Big Cheese, its Employee of the Month – every month – forever.
The Gluteus Maximus muscles (yes, they’re in your bottom) are the largest in your body and they join approximately 650 other muscles in giving you strength, agility, stability, good posture and yes, a nice round bottom, too.
When we massage, we stimulate your circulatory system which in turn enhances cell activity. It also helps to reduce the thickening of connective tissue and decreases fibrous adhesion caused by muscle tissue injuries. Overall, massage will enhance your range of motion as well by increasing your flexibility and ultimately relaxing you into a state of utter bliss.
The Skeletal System
Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around!
Now that we’ve got that song stuck in your head (sorry – not sorry!), let’s be grateful for how protective, strong yet flexible our framework of bones really is. Regular body massage therapy can help dem bones greatly – from improving stiff joints and reducing inflammation, to improving body alignment and lessening soreness and fatigue. A good massage therapist will also work wonders in helping you heal from injuries.
The Circulatory System
Your heart pumps 5.5 litres of blood per minute and beats 100,000 times a day. Want to know something else? Your blood circulates about 19,000km per day – that’s like travelling between Brisbane and Sydney over 9 times every day.
Massage impacts the circulatory system by increasing blood flow and oxygen supply – oxygen as you know – is a pretty crucial part of most processes in your body. Therefore, increasing your oxygen supply also increases your body’s effectiveness in carrying out a whole heap of other processes.
The Nervous System
The nervous system is the boss. It’s in control. It starts in the brain, scurries down the spinal cord and onwards through a spaghetti-fest of nerves. During a massage your nervous system decreases your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure. While you are in this more relaxed state, massage begins to stimulate your senses. Soon, happy-clapping endorphins are released and dopamine (the pleasure neurotransmitter) runs amok. Trust us when we say that both your brain and your body adore a good massage!
The Lymphatic System
Remember that scene in Disney’s Fantasia where Mickey Mouse is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice? He instructs brooms to carry water-filled buckets from A to B and it basically ends in chaos….well, the lymphatic system is like that – minus the chaos and minus the buckets! Oh and minus Mickey Mouse too.
In essence the Lymphatic System transports and balances your fluids and helps ward off all manner of poxes, lurgies and diseases. A detox massage helps the lymphatic system by reducing swelling and inflammation and helps with the elimination of waste to boot. Click here for more detox tips.
The Respiratory System
You take over 23,000 breaths every day and your respiratory system – headquartered in your lungs – works by getting the oxygen your breathe straight into your blood. A relaxing massage lowers your respiratory rate and works on your diaphragm muscles to deepen and improve your breathing pattern and release tension held in your chest. This is of great benefit to all the stress bunnies out there.
The Endocrine System
“The endocrine system is like an immensely powerful dictatorship, issuing sweeping edicts that all must obey,” so says the Professor of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna, Tecumseh Fitch. And it’s a perfect analogy.
The endocrine system is comprised of glands that produce and emit hormones into your bloodstream. These little hormone minions regulate a myriad of functions from your mood and libido to your growth and thyroid function. Massage helps the endocrine system primarily by reducing the stress and tension in you which in turn helps balance your mood so you feel less anxious and tense.
The Digestive System
A great massage therapist helps to relieve pressure in the abdominal and intestinal muscles which eases constipation and helps with waste elimination. Liver and kidney activity are also stimulated by massage and this helps to filter and process waste. Simple!
The Urinary System
This system’s task is to make urine and expel it. Sounds easy enough but it’s a tough gig. Every day we tinkle approximately 2 litres of urine and in a lifetime, our kidneys will clean over one million gallons of water – that’s enough to fill a small lake.
A body massage manipulates the fluids in the muscles – fluids that are then pushed into the lymphatic system – yes, straight to Mickey Mouse, the brooms and the buckets! The fluid is filtered, it fills your bladder and hey presto – you need to tinkle again.
Massage increases urinary output, reduces fluid retention and increases the efficiency of your liver and kidneys. This explains why your Ripple massage therapists will advise you to drink a couple of extra glasses of water after a massage – to better flush the built-up waste from your body.
The Reproductive System
Please, oh please don’t make us describe what it all does. Let’s just blush, fidget awkwardly and assume that you already know all about the department of birds and bees!
What ‘s important to know is that a good therapeutic massage promotes relaxation, reduces your blood pressure and provides you with a feeling of overall wellness that your bees will thank you for!
Ultimately, body massage is a deeply satisfying and bliss-inducing practice – no question there. What you may not have appreciated – until now – is that massage also provides many health benefits that help your body function, play, rest, relax and – very importantly – to heal too. Amen to that!