Physiological Effects of Massage Therapy

Updated at: Feb 11, 2013
Physiological Effects of Massage Therapy

Physiological Effects of Massage Therapy: help in strengthening these systems and their correlation, leading to a healthy body and mind.

Pratima Sharma
Home RemediesWritten by: Pratima SharmaPublished at: Aug 26, 2011

Massage therapy is by far the most popular way to provide relaxation to muscles, lessen body aches, reduce blood pressure and unblock energy flow. Massage therapy also provides mental and emotional relaxation. Massage therapists are trained in massage techniques and study the human physiology thoroughly before they begin massage therapy. Human physiology is science related to mechanical and physical health of organ systems, organs, cells and their functioning and several scientific studies have shown that massage therapy has umpteen physiological effects.

Massage Therapy and its Physiological Effects

As physiological effects mean the effects of an external activity on different organ systems such as circulatory, nervous, muscular and respiratory systems, the various physiological effects of massage therapy on organ systems are as follows:

  • Provides in relaxation and reduces tension in the organ systems.
  • Helps in their development and makes them stronger.
  • Invigorates each organ in the system.
  • Heals and regenerates the damaged parts.

There are around 11 major organ systems in human body and massage therapy, physiologically affects and  nearly all of them. Some of the main organ systems on which massage therapy has physiological effects are the muscular system, circulatory system, respiratory system, nervous system, digestive system, endocrine system and the urinary system.

Muscular and Respiratory System

Massage therapy provides relief from soreness and stiffness. It tones the muscles and increases flexibility. Massage therapy works wonders for muscular knots. One of the most important physiological effects of massage therapy is recovery from strenuous schedules of workout and exercises. It also relieves from cramps and swelling in muscles and tendons. Massage develops respiratory muscles and helps increase the oxygen intake by providing relaxation and an easier breathing pattern.

Endocrine and Nervous System

Massage therapy reduces insomnia and helps the body to adhere to a proper sleep pattern which is very important for the physiology of the body. Trained therapists can increase or decrease the levels of hormones through massage therapy. Massage therapy can also stimulate the release of Endorphins – body’s natural painkiller – as a physiological effect.

Circulatory, Digestive and Urinary System

The physiological effects of massage therapy also influence the enhanced efficiency of the metabolic system. It relaxes the strained muscles and improvises the circulation of blood throughout the body. The relaxed muscles lead to improved supply of oxygen as well as nutrients to cells and tissues which eventually enhances metabolism. The benefit of enhanced blood flow obtained by the massage therapy also normalises the heart rate and blood pressure. Few techniques in massage therapy specially focus on stimulating the liver and kidneys and help in eliminating the waste materials and excessive proteins from the system.

The human body is a complex structure with all the cells, tissues, organs and organ systems linked and dependent on each other. The physiological effects of massage therapy help in strengthening these systems and their correlation, leading to a healthy body and mind.




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