Just What is Massage?
Believe or not, massage is a very therapeutic way to relieve muscle pain, stiffness, and stress. Most people think of massage as a luxury reserved only for the privileged and in the past they were right. Today however, medical massage has become more and more popular as doctors are referring more patients for massage.
So let’s take a look at massage and its effects on the body. As our bodies go through the daily activities our muscles create a waste known as “lactic acid.” Over time the build-up of lactic acid can actually cause the muscles to feel as hard as bones. I know, most ads today says you want a rock hard body, but don’t take that literally. In fact, if your body was rock hard you would actually be in tremendous pain. Let me explain. As you are doing your strength training your muscles will feel thicker and stronger as your workouts will actually expand your muscle tissues. Unless you are lifting really heavy weight there is no danger of looking like a bodybuilder. So as the muscles expand they start to stretch your skin and filling out the skin, thus giving you that solid look. Your body should feel soft, with some give if someone touches you. If you can strike a match on your body and it lights, you are in pain!
As your muscles expand the build-up of lactic acid starts to harden the muscle. The muscle can press on blood vessels reducing the flow of blood and causing discoloration of the skin. The hardened muscles can press on the nerves causing a tingling feeling or numbness or press on the lymphatic system reducing the removal of toxins from your body causing infections.
A good massage, which may be somewhat painful, will flush away the lactic acid making your muscles more pliable and user friendly. You may see a healthy color return to your skin. Tingling, numbness, or even redness may disappear. A good therapist can break-up the lactic acid, keep a check on any changes in your skin, watch any molds for changes, and may refer you to a dermatologist or other physician.
After you have had a massage you may feel a little light, warm, or tingly with the fresh blood getting to areas of your body that has been limited. Always remember to drink lots of water after your massage so you will continue to flush out the remaining toxins in your body. I would suggest a monthly massage at the least, and if you can afford it, a massage every two weeks.
So get your massages and start living more pain free! Don’t just be alive, but live your life to the fullest.