3/23/2018 0 Comments
Effects of Massage on the Lymphatic, Digestive, Urinary, Endocrine and Respiratory Systems
Effects of massage on the lymphatic system
Massage has many positive effects on the lymphatic system. Stimulating
the lymphatic system through massage increases the flow of lymph,
subsequently reducing edema and increasing urinary output, relieving
the body of excess fluids. Massage relieves muscle tension, creating a
kind of compression throughout the system that assists in the proper
drainage of lymph through the channels. Massaging above the heart
with light pressure along the lymphatic routes is indicated to assist in
lymphatic drainage. Encouraging the client to use deep breathing during
this process can also facilitate movement of the lymph through the
system. GET YOUR MONTHLY BODY MAINTENANCE MASSAGE AT WWW.INDOPAKMASSAGE.COM
Effects of massage on the digestive system
Massage can have beneficial effects on the digestive system because it
promotes activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, stimulating
digestive activity and encouraging the movement of wastes through
the intestines. Massage can also help relieve pain or discomfort due to
constipation, colic and/or gas.
Effects of massage on the urinary system
Massage increases circulation and lymph drainage from the tissues,
benefiting the body by enhancing its ability to remove wastes and toxins
and resulting in increased urinary output.
Effects of massage on the endocrine system
The endocrine system is regulated by the nervous system through the
use of chemical messages that maintain an internal system of feedback
and regulation coordinating all body functions. Neuroendocrine
chemicals are central to this control system in that they carry messages
that regulate physiologic processes. A neuroendocrine chemical
that is in the synapse of a nerve is called a neurotransmitter, while a
neuroendocrine chemical in the bloodstream is called a hormone.
Our bodies produce a constantly fluctuating mix of chemicals,
responding to external or internal requirements of the moment
and adapting to maintain homeostasis. The specific chemical mix
is associated with many aspects of mood and personality as well
as characteristic ways individuals respond to stress and pain.
Neuroendocrine substances influenced by massage include the
following neuroendocrine chemicals:
Adrenaline/epinephrine and noradrenalin/norepinephrine:
Epinephrine (which is also known as adrenaline) activates or
arouses; it produces the alert response and sympathetic arousal
mechanisms associated with the “fight or flight” response in the
body. Abnormally high levels of epinephrine or norepinephrine
may cause hypervigilance or hyperactivity and disturb REM sleep,
while low levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine (also known as
noradrenalin) can leave the individual sleepy and sluggish. Massage regulates epinephrine and norepinephrine production through
stimulation and inhibition of the sympathetic and parasympathetic
nervous system, returning to normal or “recalibrating” the balance
of these chemicals. The autonomic nervous system may respond to
massage in one of two ways: Either making the person more alert
or, alternatively, calm. Once massage is initiated, it takes at least 15 minutes of sustained stimulation to trigger parasympathetic function.
While a brief massage will increase production of adrenaline and
noradrenaline, waking an individual up, a long massage will tend to
engage parasympathetic function, reducing adrenaline and noradrenalin
levels in the blood, producing an overall relaxing and calming response.
Glucocorticoids are stress hormones produced in the adrenal glands
during extended stressful periods. These hormones are a symptom of
sympathetic arousal. Cortisol and other glucocorticoids are associated
with stress-related conditions and symptoms, including lowered
immunity, poor sleep patterns and the function of neurotransmitters that
mediate the transmission of pain impulses, affecting how an individual
feels these impulses. Massage has been demonstrated to reduce levels of
cortisol and alter neurotransmitter function.
The body is capable of producing pain-inhibiting and opiate-like
substances including dopamine and endorphins or enkephalins,
chemicals that improve mood, promote feelings of satiety (fullness
or satisfaction) and mediate pain. Dopamine effects motor activity,
involving types of learned movement, the ability to focus and mood.
Low dopamine levels are characterized by poor motor control or
coordination and the inability to focus. Massage increases levels of the
neurotransmitter dopamine (Michaeli, 2016). Kecskes (2014) states that
acupuncture, like deep-tissue massage, often leads to endorphin release.
Serotonin is another neurotransmitter that affects mood and focus, and
is associated with feelings of satisfaction. It also helps regulate the sleep
and waking cycle. Low serotonin is associated with depression, eating
and pain disorders and obsessive-compulsive personality traits. Massage
appears to increase the availability of serotonin.
The overall composition of neuroendocrine chemicals changes during
massage. Dopamine, serotonin and endorphin levels rise, increasing
production of immune system cells, while cortisol levels fall. Massage
also assists in the regulation of epinephrine and norepinephrine, and
facilitates growth hormone function. Growth hormone promotes cell
division, tissue renewal and repair, and is necessary to healing functions
carried out primarily during sleep. Massage encourages sleep by
reducing the level of cortisol and increasing the availability of growth
Oxytocin is a hormone associated with attachment or bonding functions;
it is active in pregnancy, delivery and lactation. Massage tends to
increase levels of oxytocin.
Effects of massage on the respiratory system
Lung capacity and breathing can be greatly improved through massage
of the chest, shoulders and back. Massage deepens respiration and
improves lung capacity by relaxing tightness in the respiratory muscles.
Reduced tension allows more full expansion of the chest cavity and
lungs as well as increased removal of congestion. The rate of respiration
typically slows due to reduced stimulation of the sympathetic nervous
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