SWEDISH MASSAGE THERAPY
"Massage is the manual manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and optimizing health"
circulation, range of motion, elasticity and flexibility
Swelling/congestion, pain, blood pressure
oxygen and nutrients delivery, waste removal and metabolism
adhesion/scar tissue, trigger points
HOW IT WORKS
The mechanical aspect of massage works by accelerating the venous blood drainage. The therapist works the muscle fibres longitudinally to direct blood flow back towards the heart (centripetally). This increases oxygen in the blood which increases nutrients within the body. There is also an increase in lymph drainage which helps to remove toxins from the body. The therapist is able to passively exercise the soft tissue which in turn breaks down calcium deposits and stimulates its removal from the body.
Another way that massage works is through reflexive therapy. This means that by mobilizing muscular and connective tissues we stimulate mechano-receptors which will then release action potentials (impulses). These electrical impulses stimulate motor and vasomotor centers which cause the body to respond to the stimuli by displaying positive changes like reducing blood pressure, stress reduction, vasodilation, muscle tissue relaxation and much more.
The main goal of Swedish massage is to address the body as a whole. It is very beneficial for increasing oxygen levels in the blood, improving circulation and flexibility and reducing tension and muscle toxins. Swedish Massage can also be used to stimulate muscles in the case of atrophied muscles, reduce adhesions (and knots) to increase range of motion and ease pain associated with trigger points. Massage is very beneficial for reducing stiffness especially in cases such as arthritis or muscle soreness associated with horses getting back into work after an injury.