Waves in MotionThe skin influences internal processes through touch. The pathways stemming from the senses unite the surface of the skin as well as the interior of the body.

The internal state of mind and physical health directly effects the skin. Moods are reflected through paling of the face or other areas, flushing across the cheeks, goosebumps, shivers, and sweating. Things like anxiety and exhaustion create dark circles under the eyes, whereas healthy circulation creates warm, pink and healthy skin tones. Your diet is also reflected in the skin. Stress can cause an immense amount of rashes, pimples, boils and bumps.

But what about if we switched things the other way? Do the conditions and sensations like massage of our skin have an effect on our organs? Or maybe even our moods or personalities? Does the touch of a massage therapist make a connection into the familiar palliatives? Indeed.

What does this mean, exactly? Well, massage therapists, just through touching you and massaging your skin, tissues and muscles, have the capability of changing what is happening INSIDE the body. So if you’re experiencing symptoms of internal discord on your skin, try massage and see if your massage therapist can massage through some of those issues. You might be surprised to see just how powerful and influential massage therapy really can be for your body.

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If you’re in pain, do you really need to work on the area that IS in pain or can you work “NOT” on the area and still get a benefit? What happens if you need relief but the area in pain is just way too tender to work on?

The answer? You don’t have to have your massage therapist work on the specific area in pain to get relief. Why?

Massage creates chemical changes that reduces pain and stress throughout the body. One way it does this is by reducing a brain chemical called substance P that is related to pain. In a TRI study (Touch Research Institute (TRI) at the University of Miami School of Medicine), for example, individuals with a form of muscle pain called fibromyalgia showed less substance P in their saliva (and they reported reduced pain) after a month of twice-weekly massages.

Massage generates the elevation of dopamine in the body – the natural pain-killer. So even though you could have the worst neck pain on the planet, getting a massage at the legs area would greatly help your pain levels around the neck. You can always come in for specific neck work once the dopamine kicks in and takes the edge off of the pain.

De-stress with massage.Take a look at this picture to the left. Isn’t it soothing? Relaxing? Makes you just want to zone out and stare at is, doesn’t it?!

The same is true when you get a massage. You’re able to completely zone out and relax. When you’re relaxed and in a de-stressed state of mind, images and thoughts like the one to your left are free to be introduced, which can help you immensely.

Several studies have measured the stress hormone called cortisol in subjects’ saliva before and after massage sessions, and found dramatic decreases. Cortisol, which is produced when you are stressed, kills cells important for immunity. So when massage reduces your stress levels and hence the cortisol in your body, it may help you avoid getting a cold or another illness while under stress. This is news that we really like.

This is where we mention that cortisol also has a tendency to add issues like unnecessary weight gain. Hmmm…

See, the whole point here is to de-stress. Lose the stress, build immunity, don’t get sick. In that order. We’ve known clients to stay healthier throughout the year simply because they receive massage on a regular basis and practice good sterilization/sanitation practices wherever they go. Plus, they eat right and exercise. Imagine never really getting sick, ever… but also staying in a completely de-stressed state of mind and body. Wouldn’t THAT be nice.

So, if you need to de-stress, and also lose a lot of excess cortisol at the same time, you’re welcome to join Nancy on the massage table. That’s an open invitation!

Blood pressure reducer, massage is.Waves in Motion Massage constantly searches out researched benefits of massage therapy. Massage is becoming such a mainstream element of wellness programs that it’s hard to ignore the massive benefits of everything it offers! One of those benefits happens to be a reduction of blood pressure. 

The University of Florida once studied the effects of massage therapy on blood pressure. Massage therapy stimulates pressure receptors that prompt action from the vagus nerve, one of the nerves that emerges from the brain. If you didn’t know, the vagus nerve regulates blood pressure, as well as other functions of the body.

In their study, the nice folks at the University of Florida took hypertension patients, who each received 10 massages of 10 minutes each over three weeks. They showed significant improvements in blood pressure compared to a control group who simply rested in the same environment without any massage.

Hmmm. What does this mean for people? Well, certainly, one could argue that we could extend this research into what this could mean for people with heart conditions or be at risk for a heart attack. Massage saves lives? Perhaps. Controlling blood pressure? That’s a must.

So if you know someone that is constantly at their wit’s end with stress and work, and also happens to have a high blood pressure, perhaps give them the gentle nudge to book an appointment over here at Waves in Motion Massage. We’ll return them to you less red-in-the-face and minus the steam coming out of the ears. You’re welcome!