August 27th, 6:30
Free Hands On Massage Class
So what is massage therapy? Massage therapy is the hands-on manipulation of muscle and other soft tissue for therapeutic purposes. This includes enhancing the function of joints and muscles, improving circulation, enhancing general body tone and relieving mental and physical fatigue.
Today, as never before, “the pressure is on:” Pressure to beat out the other guy for the top spot. Pressure to get the highest grade in school, to advance to the next level. Pressure just to make ends meet in a teetering economy. All this pressure and stress starts to take it’s toll. Most of us don’t think twice about popping an aspirin or ibuprofen if we’re in pain—headache, backache, joint pain — but pain relief doesn’t have to come from a bottle. There are plenty of natural ways we can manage existing pain—and cut pain off before it starts. Massage therapy is one of those ways.
How does massage do it? Through the act of relaxation we stimulate a part of the brain (the parasympathetic nervous system) that slows down the heart rate, the rate of breathing, lowers blood pressure and stimulates digestion and immunity. Massage not only loosens sore muscles but it can soothe our nerves and produce a feeling of well being. The action of rubbing the skin releases the hormone endorphin. This is the body’s natural pain killer which also creates a sense of well being.
It improves circulation by assisting the flow of blood from the limbs back to the heart and increases the flow of fresh blood, which carries nutrients and oxygen to organs and muscles. The first action of massage on muscles is to encourage them to relax and lengthen; (imagine a wound up elastic band being unravelled), relieving tightness, tension and toxins.
The second action is to encourage fresh blood into the congested area, bringing fresh nutrients and oxygen to the fatigued muscle, and assisting with the removal of the toxic waste product produced by muscle action called lactic acid.
Virtually every system of the body is affected by massage, either directly or indirectly.
Soothing massage can provide relief from nervous irritability and stress-related conditions such as insomnia and tension headaches. When used energetically to stimulate, massage may relieve lethargy and fatigue.
Gentle massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps clear the body of a build-up of waste products. The relaxing effect of the massage can relieve stress, which in turn can boost the immune system.
As you become more relaxed during a massage, respiration may become slower and deeper as you are using your diaphragm for breathing and expending less energy.
Massage aids relaxation and therefore can help to increase the movement of food and waste products through the digestive system. This relaxation can have a balancing effect on the digestive system.
Waste products that have been released during massage find their way via the blood to the kidneys where they may be filtered out and eliminated.
Menstrual problems such as period pains and PMS can be alleviated by the relaxing effects of massage, as can menopausal symptoms.
And the list goes on!
Join Matthew Farley as he demonstrates ways you can use massage therapy to benefit all these areas. Bring a partner to practice on as this is a hands on class.