How Massage Therapy Can Keep Your Cells Healthy Part 3 of 4John Stamoulos
Oxygen circulates to the cells of the body through the bloodstream. When it reaches the cells, there is a release of toxins and waste as the oxygen molecules flow into the space that the toxins have left behind. When circulation is optimum, oxygen’s many supportive properties help assure the body is energized, properly respirated and that the many cellular functions occur as designed. A massage encourages and increases oxygenation throughout the body because it boosts blood circulation.
Why does oxygenation matter?
An increase in oxygenation in the blood can:
- increase muscular resilience by raising energy and decreasing muscle fatigue
- keep muscles strong and healthy and prevent damage
- maximise performance through processes of vasodilation (dilation of the blood vessels to accommodate an increase in blood flow) and capillarization (an increase in the smaller blood vessels that branch off of the main vessels) that allow a burst of oxygen and energy to the muscles for extended strength and less fatigue
- reduce delayed onset of muscle soreness due to injury, overuse or increased intensity of an activity.
- speed up healing of injuries due to tearing of muscle fibres
- reduce acute pain by strengthening weak muscles that are the source of pain, fatigue, knots and aches.
Massage techniques that increase oxygenation
Each massage technique is designed to support blood flow and thus oxygenation to various areas of the body. Effleurage works to improve the health of soft tissues using hands and fingers and varied pressure in order to decrease muscle tightness and reduce muscle soreness. Trigger Pointing employs thumbs or elbows to apply pressure to targeted areas in order to release knots in the center of the muscles and thus break down restrictions within the muscles and restore free blood flow. Wringing works on the soft tissues by pulling from the outside to the inside of the area being treated. This process reduces muscle tightness and tension and restores circulation as well as elasticity to maintain improved circulation and reduce pain.
With optimal oxygenation of the cells, the primary source of health and well-being is nourished and restored. With the help of massage, we can literally be healed from the inside out!