How Massage Can Keep Your Cells Stay Healthy Part 1 of 4John Stamoulos
How Massage Can Keep Your Cells Stay Healthy
Part 1 of 4
“Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. The human body is composed of trillions of cells. They provide structure for the body, take in nutrients from food, convert those nutrients into energy, and carry out specialized functions.” ~ ghr.nlm.nih.gov
At the bottom of your body’s internal ‘food chain’ lie your cells. They are the workhorses of your system and although they are tiny, they are mighty and are a vital link to your health and your ability to be alive and to function every day.
Interesting Factoid: Each of our 37 trillion cells has an identical copy of our genetic code, the genome, yet their forms and functions are hugely varied. From muscle cells that contract, to immune cells that defend the body from pathogens, to nerve cells that transmit electrical signals – each has a specialised role ~ Sanger Institute
Cell Damage and Massage Therapy
Cells can be damaged in any number of ways including internal changes within the cell or external environmental shifts. Cells can be impacted by such factors as physical, chemical, infectious, nutritional or immunological issues. As well, such factors as microscopic tears in muscle fibres and build-up of lactic acid can cause injury to the muscles and cells in the body. In extreme cases, the damage can be irreversible but on average, the cell has the ability to positively respond to such healing approaches as diet, exercise, medication, and massage therapy.
One of the ways massage therapy promotes health cellular vitality is through its ability to enable more rapid cellular exchange. Housekeeping (cellular exchange) within the cell occurs as healthy oxygen and nutrients flow in while by-products of cellular activity (toxins, fluids that cause swelling) flow out into the body’s lymph system for ultimate excretion from the body.
With the use of massage techniques such as effleurage (techniques that increase circulation and warm the muscles to encourage lymph drainage), and trigger pointing (intense pressure on knots in the muscles to promote flow), cellular exchange efficiently helps reduce swelling, relieve pain, and speed up healing.
Healing is on the ‘fast track’ with massage because effective muscle repair needs oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the cells and toxins and metabolic wastes to be removed.
Massage therapy, improves metabolic function of the cells and more rapidly restores health. The muscles of the body are stronger and more resilient, leading to improved health and wellbeing.