Walking out of the room feeling relaxed, stress-free, and renewed – ah, there is nothing quite like that post-massage bliss. Studies show that massage therapy can help regulate hormones, raise immunity, help lower blood pressure, reduce pain and muscle tension and may also be helpful for anxiety, digestive disorders, headaches, and insomnia. Excuse us while we go book our next massage now.
Massage therapy is defined as “the manual manipulation of muscular structure and soft body tissues of the human body, including muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments.” Massage has been used for thousands of years by people living all over the world as a means of naturally treating both mental and physical body ailments.
There are many different types of massages, and the styles slightly vary. They can range from light stroking to deep pressure. Some of the different types include, but are not limited to, Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, and trigger point massage.
Massage + Cleansing
Massage therapy can be especially beneficial when cleansing. This is mainly because it stimulates the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system includes a complex network of vessels, ducts, lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus, the adenoids, and the tonsils. The main function of the lymphatic system is to cleanse toxins and protect against harmful invaders in the body.
This means it carries waste from the tissues and into the bloodstream for removal. Pretty incredible, right? As we know, we are constantly coming into contact with chemicals, whether it be through food, air, cosmetics, toxic household cleaners, tap water, or simply the natural metabolic wastes our bodies produce that need to be flushed daily. Every one of our cells takes in nutrients and eliminates wastes. Once fluid is passed out of a cell membrane, it becomes “lymph” fluid. It contains substances that the cells want to get rid of, including wastes, pathogens, and undigested proteins. Making sure that we remove these toxins regularly is incredibly important for our overall health.
Manual Lymphatic Pumping
Unfortunately, unlike our blood, lymph does not have a pump, and can easily become stagnant. Not good. Both stress and toxin build-up can cause lymph stagnation. This can lead to impaired immunity, disease, bloating, fluid retention, swelling, cellulite, the inability to lose weight, PMS, low energy, low immunity, chronic sinusitis, swollen glands, and stiffness.
So clearly, we want to keep that lymph moving along! One of the best ways to do so is massage. A lymphatic massage is a specific form of massage that targets the flow of lymph in the body. It uses a specific amount of pressure and rhythmic circular movements to stimulate the lymph, moving it towards the heart, back into circulation, and therefore mobilizes toxins for clearance. However, all massage is helpful for moving lymph through our bodies!
Some other great ways to encourage lymphatic drainage include staying hydrated (well-hydrated tissue help moves out waste material), exercising regularly, dry brushing, practicing yoga, and developing a deep breathing practice.
Bodywork is so important. We love supporting our bodies with extra care on and off the 21-Day Clean Program. Relaxing for an hour, helping our bodies properly detoxify, and enjoying every minute of it? Count us in.
Written by Hannah Aylward
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