What is massage used for?

Massage is often used to alleviate stress and aid relaxation, to relieve pain and to facilitate healing from some injuries. It is a part of many cancer care programmes. It can be used for premature babies, babies, infants, young children, older children, adults and older people. It can also play an important part in sports therapy

What does a massage involve?

Touch is used to locate areas of stiffness, pain or tension and then various massage techniques including pressure, friction, stretching and flowing movements are applied to the skin and underlying tissues to release muscular tension and pain, relax the body and enhance wellbeing.

How does massage work?

Massage of the skin and underlying tissues increases the circulation of blood and lymph fluids, increasing the oxygenation of the tissues and aiding the removal of waste products from the muscles and the tissues.

It also stimulates skin receptors and the nervous system, triggering the release of feel good chemicals/endorphins, this release aids relaxation. It may also help block pain signals.

What is the evidence?

Studies have shown that massage may help relieve stress, anxiety and pain, especially back pain. It may be helpful in fibromyalgia – a condition with painful, stiff, tender muscles and joints. Massage can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. It has been shown to give short term benefits to those receiving chemotherapy, by relieving anxiety and depression. It can offer some help for other physical conditions for example constipation and menstrual pain.

When is a massage not appropriate?

Massage is not suitable on broken, damaged, bruised, swollen or infected skin, on burns, on open cuts or wounds, over varicose veins, when the client has a fever or deep vein thrombosis.

Massage is not suitable for a client with broken bones, brittle bone disease, advanced cancers or serious heart problems

Special care needs to be taken with babies, infants, pregnant women, clients with cancer, diabetes and other serious diseases, older people and clients who have recently had an operation.

Are there any side effects to massage?

Massage is very safe when practiced by trained therapists.

There may be mild side effects of slight drowsiness immediately after treatment due to relaxation during the massage. Take a short time immediately after massage before driving. Drink plenty of water after massage

Deep tissue massage can cause some tenderness or stiffness the following day.

 The effects of massage on the skin

  • Massage improves the condition of the skin because the increased blood supply increases the delivery of nutrients and oxygen ad speeds up the removal of metabolic waste.
  • Massage increases metabolism, stimulating cells, moving cells upwards, improving the condition of the skin as old cells are replaced
  • Massage produces dilation of surface capillaries which improves the colour of the skin
  • Sebaceous glands are stimulated to produce and release more sebum. The sebum lubricates the skin and keeps it supple.
  • The massage oil lubricates and nourishes the skin

The effects of massage on muscle tissue

  • Massage aids the relaxation of the muscle, due to the warmth created and the removal of accumulated waste
  • Massage pushes blood along the veins allowing deoxygenated blood and waste to be removed and fresh oxygenated blood and nutrients to be brought to the muscles, improving the condition of the muscles
  • Massage can reduce pain, stiffness and muscle fatigue produced by the accumulation of waste products such as lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The removal of this waste is speeded up by the massage and normal muscle function is restored more quickly. The increased nutrients and oxygen help tissue repair and recovery. This is particularly helpful following running/ heavy lifting/ gym work out.
  • Massage warms the muscles due to the increased blood flow, the friction of the hands moving over the area and the friction of the tissues as they move over each other, reducing tension and aiding relaxation of the muscles.
  • The elasticity of the muscles is improved because manipulations such as kneading, wringing and picking up skin, stretch the fibres and separate the fibre bundles. Any fibrous adhesions are broken down, the sheath surrounding the bundles is stretched allowing the muscle fibres to function normally
  • Massage breaks down adhesions and fibrositic nodules that may have developed within the muscle as a result of poor posture, tension or injury

 The effects of massage on bone, tissue & joints

  • Bones are covered by a layer of connective tissue known as periosteum. Blood vessels from the periosteum penetrate the bone. Deep massage stimulates the flow to the periosteum, increasing the blood supply to the bone
  • Massage around the joints increases the circulation and nourishes the structures surrounding the joints
  • Massage loosens adhesions in structures around the joints
  • Massage may help the client to maintain a fuller range of movement

The effects of massage on the lymphatic system

  • During massage the practitioner will move her hands along in the direction of lymph drainage to the nearest group of lymphatic nodes, increasing the flow of lymph in the lymphatic vessels
  • Pressure from massage on the tissues helps fluid from the tissues pass into the lymphatic vessels, enabling waste product to drain away, this can help reduce/prevent oedema

The effects of massage on the nervous system

  • Slow, rhythmical massage produces a soothing sedative effect on nerve endings, promoting general relaxation
  • Vigorous brisk massage will have a stimulating effect

At The Human Touch Caron Riley provides Swedish massage. You can have facial massage, Back neck & shoulder massage or a whole body massage. To book a treatment with Caron at her private practice space in Portslade call on 07929345374

The cost of a treatment with a Human Touch practitioner

At The Human Touch we aim to keep our cost affordable. We have a concessions category which is based on your income. If your income is £10,000 a year or less you pay the concession price, if it is above that you pay the full price. Our concessions include unemployed, self employed and part time employed people, carers, students and retired people. The cost of the treatment is dependent on the amount of time spent with the practitioner. If you book for an hour and then because of your individual needs the treatment runs into extra time you will be charged per every 15 minutes extra. Treatment costs are 30 minutes £15 or £10 for concessions One hour treatment £30 or £20 for concessions




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