Registered Massage Therapist
Member of the Massage Therapists' Association of Nova Scotia since 2000

The Halifax Professional Centre
5991 Spring Garden Road • Suite 577
Halifax, Nova Scotia • B3H 1Y6
902 • 580 • 2708

The Benefits of Massage

What Would Massage Therapy Do For Me?

Occasionally people ask 'If I don't have an injury or any physical pain, why would I get a massage?' Here are some thoughts I have in response to this question.

Physical contact with other people - soothing, caring, non-sexual touch, is a vital to our sense of well being and essential for our good health. We need it like we need oxygen and water and food. But ask yourself this question: How many times have I touched or been touched by another person today?

As you go about your daily life, you have a certain sense of your body. But when someone touches you, your awareness of that specific part of your body is heightened. A massage treatment can awaken an overall, detailed sense of where your body is in space.

If you have an injury, massage can help your healing process. But even if you don't, massage will improve the health of your muscles, fascia, joints, tendons and ligaments. Massage also calms the nervous system and improves your circulation, so it improves the health of your cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, skeletal, lymphatic (the immune system), urinary and endocrine systems. This type of maintenance care may help prevent injury in the future.

A massage treatment is time that is all about you. Many of us have hectic, busy lives and put a great deal of energy in to taking care of other people. But the energy you expend needs to be replenished - you need to be taken care of. When you have a massage treatment, you're taking care of yourself by allowing someone else to take care of you.

Massage Improves Your Circulation
As you pull down your hat, pull on your heavy boots and head into the challenging Maritime winter (Brrr!), remember to keep your body moving.  It's hard not to let the cold slow you down, but if you drive to work and then sit at a desk all day, you're not getting enough circulation in your body.

When I was a massage therapy student, "ummm... good circulation?" was our standard answer in response to "What are the benefits of massage therapy?".  To be honest, we didn't think much of it at first, we were just happy to have a reliable correct answer.  However, I now understand that good circulation of the blood is no small thing.  In fact, it is a profound, essential factor in good health.

Did you know that blood carries oxygen from your lungs to all of your muscles and internal organs and blood carries toxins out of your body?  A person with poor circulation can have a number of problems, including pooling of the fluid in the extremities (like the toes), cold hands and feet, fatigue, and achiness created by an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles.

Good circulation brings damaged, tense muscles the oxygen rich blood they need to heal.  Good circulation helps fight diseases, stabilizes body temperature and helps maintain overall homeostasis in your body.

Massage improves circulation in your body because the pressure created by the massage technique moves blood through the congested areas. When the pressure is released, new blood to flows in. This pressure and release also flushes lactic acid from the muscles and improves the circulation of the lymph fluid which carries metabolic waste.

There are other ways to improve circulation: as we all know, exercise helps get the blood pumping and stretching improves circulation and blood flow.  Drinking plenty of water will help detoxify the body, allowing the blood and lymphatic system to circulate better.

Last but not least, breathe.  Deep breathing increases the amount of oxygen that is being delivered to your blood and therefore the amount of oxygen that reaches your internal organs.