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Physiology of Relieving Muscle Tension & Fatigue through Massage

- by Varsha Jain, Founder, Spa Influence

The Global Pandemic Covid -19 has toiled the daily routine of everyone around the world. With the lockdown, across the nation , house help & domestic services have taken a pause. Therefore , from sweeping, washing utensils to dusting everything has unarguably been our curriculum. Often, do we feel back pain , due to the muscle tension rising in our body, eventually leading to procrastinating chores, mental irritation & physical pain. 

Hence, Lets understand the Physiology of Relieving Muscle Tension & Fatigue through Massage manipulations.

Muscle Tension/Rigidity happens when a muscle/group of muscles stays partially contracted for an extended period. The brain regulates to send nerve signals to stimulate muscle contraction even when the muscle is no longer needed. This can often trigger stress, pain & rigidity in the body. Such, can be treated by various massage manipulations.

Massage is the means used for creating energy where such has become exhausted ,& is a natural method to restore the part locally to its nearest normal condition. Massage initiates mechanical, circulatory, nervous & musculoskeletal responses. The squeezing , compressive & pushing elements of the massage carried out with centripetal pressure are widely considered to cause venous and lymphatic drainage.

The cutaneous circulatory responses occur in the following order as below :

• Initial capillary constriction

  As the tissues are traumatised by percussive and skin rolling manipulations , a histamine        related substance is released.

• This initiates Triple response of vasodilatation – redline , ‘flush’ redness due to axon reflex and arteriolar dilatation, & ‘wheal’-slight swelling

• The increased permeability of the capillary walls allows more tissue fluid to escape , to remove noxious substances , thereby reducing unnecessary stimulus corresponding to reduction in response by the pain receptors.

Muscle tension can be reduced , by promoting relaxation of muscle causing local vascular metabolic changes & in turn increasing flexibility of muscles.

The primary mechanism to release muscle tension is release of plasma myoglobin (oxygen binding protein) from muscle that exhibits tension and therefore massage assists in normalisation of muscle tension.

Fatigue (domestic diagnosis) on the similar lines is defined to be extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion. This can also be reduced by massage , via its sedatory effect to the CNS (Central Nervous System) that will compete with incoming signals to the spinal cord. This transmission ( if of adequate level ) may block pain signals by a process of presynaptic inhibition and may reduce or prevent transmission to the conscious levels.

Muscular Tension & Fatigue caused by overuse of the muscles in our day to day life can be most commonly treated by Deep tissue massages, Remedial Massage, & Swedish Massage at Spas that aim to relax muscles , soothe and calm the body on mental & physical influence.