Massage the answer for muscles and many common ailments
21 March 2013
Some years ago in a “previous life” (I’m also an ex-journalist and newspaper owner/editor and massage was then just a sideline), one of my newspaper staff members once quipped to me, "You've got a massage answer for everything!"
What she meant was that anytime anyone mentioned some type of ailment to me, it seems I could come up with a solution that included remedial, relaxation and/or lymphatic drainage massage.
That was probably because I'm qualified and experienced in those and other types of massage and associated treatments and I've personally enjoyed the many benefits of massage over many years.
In fact, I haven’t taken one full day off work through illness for over 30 years.
It would be ridiculous, of course, to claim massage is the answer to every problem. But it is amazing how many ailments, which many people automatically assume require a medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, physiotherapy or chiropractic solution, can be successfully treated, relieved or even prevented simply with massage, especially remedial massage, by a competent therapist.
To understand how and why massage is so versatile and successful, you first need to accept a few basic "big picture" concepts about the human body.
• EVERY function of the body is controlled from the brain via the nerves, so nerve pathways throughout the body need to be clear. Nerves can easily be impinged within or between tight muscles, squeezed against bone by tight muscle, or trapped within joints pulled out of alignment by tight muscle.
• ANY nerve in the body can be impinged by misalignment of the Temporomandibular Joint – TMJ (jaw joint). As the jaw opens, it can impinge the Dura Mater, the outer of three membranes around the brain and spinal chord through which all nerves must pass. TMJ problems are often caused by muscle imbalances elsewhere in the body.
• It is tight or weak muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia that pull bones and joints out of alignment in the first place (unless the problem is caused through accident or injury).
• EVERY organ, system, muscle and structure in the body requires OXYGEN (from breathing) to function. The body also needs to expel waste air (carbon dioxide) and other waste products. If the processes of inhaling and exhaling (and other waste removal) don't work properly, it will create adverse effects (minor or major) in any system or function throughout the body.
• Oxygen, together with a range of nutrients, dietary fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc. are primarily transported around the body in the blood and lymphatic fluid.
• A major structure in the body, which accommodates and protects most of the organs and has a VITAL role in breathing is the ribcage. The intercostal and various other muscles raise and lower the ribcage for breathing.
• The ribcage is attached to the spine. If the spine and/or ribcage are distorted due to muscular/postural imbalances anywhere in the body (e.g. spinal scoliosis or heavily rounded shoulders), this may affect the breathing processes by not allowing the lungs to either fully inhale or exhale a normal breath. It can also put direct pressure on some organs.
• If the lymphatic (immune) system is not functioning properly, the body becomes susceptible to everything from feeling run down to colds and flu to infections and major diseases. The ability to heal trauma (injuries, cuts, burns, fractures, etc.) also is reduced.
• Stress is a recognised cause or factor in many ailments. Two ways stress manifests itself are through tired and aching muscles and the inability of the immune system to cope (e.g. infections or colds occur easily). Think about the MANY causes of everyday stress in your life (work, family, school, finances, traffic, illness, etc., etc.)!!
In EVERY one of the above situations, plus numerous others, massage has many benefits. These include releasing trapped nerves and clearing nerve pathways; balancing, de-tensioning, toning and helping to heal muscles; realigning the jaw; improving the circulation of blood and lymph fluid; helping detoxify muscles and organs; relieving stress and enhancing structural and postural alignment.
Massage also reduces pain and makes the recipient feel physically better and more relaxed. In turn this leads to improved psychological well-being - another important factor in relieving stress and healing.
Don’t only think of massage as a treatment for sore muscles. Think of it as assisting the whole body to HEAL ITSELF by helping balance and revitalise all its systems.
Even more important, massage is a great preventive measure. Other treatments (e.g. exercise or medical intervention) also may be needed, but massage – particularly remedial massage - is a great start.
If you feel stressed, seem constantly susceptible to colds, flu or infection, have sore muscles or your body aches, instead of just popping a pill or taking medicine as a quick fix for your symptoms, think of the "big picture" of how the body functions and try a massage instead.
Different types of massage apply in different situations. I am happy to advise you on what would best suit your needs.
David Hall ©
TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST