Updated: May 5
Even now when you are not active your muscles are involuntary active squeezing the blood slowly back to the heart. When you exercise this process is increased so that blood and lymph flow is increased to cope with the increased heart and breathing rate.
This is great when muscles are relaxed and everything works as it should. If muscles are tight then the blood flow is interrupted, it won’t receive a full supply of nutrients and the waste products build up.
As the blood supply is disrupted further because the waste products build up and this causes a viscous cycle causing the muscle to tense up more. This causes the muscle fibres to harden with a reduction in functioning accompanied by pain and stiffness. The muscle is now extremely inefficient and when used for any activity will tend to tire quickly.
If the body senses any pain (in this example from general tension) then the surrounding tissue will tense up in order to protect the perceived damaged area.
Massage can break down the acquired tension in a muscle and mechanically pump the blood through the muscles. Once the tension has been broken down the waste products will be carried away and stretching and deep massage of the muscle will help restore it to its normal functioning. Massage will need to carried out around the whole area of tension of there will have been a chain reaction of muscle shortening taking place.
Stretching, kneading, gliding strokes amongst others will all aid this process. Also as we get older muscles tend to dry out so having regular massage helps to keep them supple and making you look and feel great. Having a massage can be a very relaxing experience which in itself will promote relaxation and reduce the heartbeat