- Tight muscles
- Chronic pain
Our therapists use relaxation massage to reduce stress levels. The application of relaxation massage techniques can produce a number of physiological effects regarding hormone levels and circulation. Relaxation massage can increase the release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. Endorphins are neurotransmitters which have similar effects to morphine in that they can reduce pain but also promote feelings of happiness and relaxation. Relaxation massage can also decrease the release of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone released from the adrenal gland located on the kidney during times of threat as part of the “fight or flight” response. Long periods of high cortisol levels can leave the individual feeling anxious, stressed and even depressed. Massage can inhibit the release of cortisol which can enable the individual to feel a reduction in stress and anxiety and an improvement in relaxation.
Relaxation massage can be beneficial when applied to tight muscles. Tight muscles can occur for a number of reasons such as stress, overuse and injury. Relaxation massage can stimulate blood circulation via vasodilation which can increase the temperature of tissues. Increasing the temperature of tissues can promote relaxation which can relieve tight muscles. Relaxation massage can also reduce muscular tension by breaking down and realigning knotted collagen fibres by applying pressure to break up the adhesive collagen fibre connections.
Relaxation massage can be beneficial to chronic pain. Chronic pain refers to pain that has been present for longer than 6 months. Our Sports Therapists use relaxation massage to reduce chronic pain through the pain gate theory. The pain gate theory states a non-harmful stimulus such as massage can inhibit the transmission of harmful stimulus e.g. inflammation injury to the brain, therefore pain is reduced.