THE BENEFITS OF MASSAGE - PART 1. THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

Regular massage can have many positive effects on the body and one of the main benefits is the ability to initiate the parasympathetic response of the body.


The autonomic nervous system is divided into the Sympathetic nervous system, known as our ‘fight-or-flight’ response and the Parasympathetic nervous system known as our ‘rest-and-digest’ response.


Stress causes mental, emotional and physiological responses in the body through the initiation of the Sympathetic nervous system.


It can come from many factors such as lack of sleep, limited work/life balance, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, dysfunctional relationships, and financial instability.


When we experience chronic stress, our body remains in a ‘fight-or-flight’ response with little to no ‘rest-and-digest’ response to balance it back out.


Studies have shown that regular massage can increase heart rate variability, reduce blood pressure, decrease tension in muscles and improve mood and sleep.


It can also improve digestion, hence the ‘rest-and-digest’ term which is why sometimes you can experience your stomach making noises throughout your massage.


If you are someone that experiences high levels of stress, then getting a regular relaxation massage (known as Swedish) is one way that you can actively manage your stress and relax your body and mind.


Yours in health,

Katherine Messinis


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