Massage is a great way to relieve muscle pain and tension. Muscles are dependent upon oxygen. When you run so fast that you become out of breath there is no longer enough oxygen available for the muscle to burn. The body then begins to burn sugar anaerobically. Continue to exercise at a high level, and pyruvic acid accumulates in the muscle. This becomes a waste material called lactic acid. Lactic acid occurs when exercise becomes anaerobic, and pain and soreness result. This syndrome is not only the result of strenuous exercise, it also occurs under periods of stress and tension and due to poor posture. When the movement of muscles is restricted, lactic acid can build up, causing soreness. So even though you may not be running you might be experiencing stress for a length of time which cause your shoulder muscles to become anaerobic or oxygen exhausted and feel sore due to the lack of blood flow, like when people do computer work or driving on a busy highway.
In an age of technical and, at times impersonal medicine, massage offers a drug-free, noninvasive and humanistic approach based on the body’s natural ability to heal itself. So what exactly are the benefits of receiving regular massage or bodywork treatments?
- Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs including the skin.
- Stimulates the lymph flow, the body’s natural defense system, against toxic invaders. For example, in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown to increase the cells that fight cancer.
- Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles.
- Reduces spasms and cramping.
- Massage works synergistically with chiropractic care.