Series 4 - Massage
Massage is defined as the systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body.
Therapeutic Effects of Massage
Occur as a direct result of the graded pressures and movements of the hand on the body. Massage encourages venous and lymphatic drainage as well a mild stretch of superficial and scar tissue. Stagnation of circulation due to inactivity can be prevented by using massage therapy techniques.
Massage can increase metabolism to the musculature and aid in the removal of metabolites. It also helps overcome venostasis and edema by increasing circulation at and around the injury site.
Reflex effects of massage elicit a variety of organ reactions such as body relaxation, stimulation and increased circulation.
Relaxation is beneficial for tense, anxious clients who may require a gentle treatment.
Stimulation benefits are primarily psychological and is relatively ineffectual physiologically.
Increased circulation by massage is caused by the capillaries dilating and the fluid being drained as a result of firm outside pressure. This stimulates cell metabolism, eliminating toxins and increases lymphatic and venous circulation.
The tactile system is one of the most sensitive systems in the human organism. Because massage is the act of laying on of hands, it can be an important means for creating a bond of confidence between the athletic trainer and the athlete.
References: Arnheim’s Principles of Athletic Training - A Competency Based Approach, William E. Prentice, 12 Edition, 2006, pg 421-426