The Body Space

Balancing Eastern and Western healing traditions

Muscular System


There are 3 types of muscle tissue.  The most prolific being the skeletal muscles we can all feel. There are over 200 named muscles in the body working in various states of contraction. A muscle is made up of fibres running in parallel lines which, when contracting, slide against each other creating controlled movement. When muscles start to ache it can mean that the muscle fibres have become stiff, fibrous and literally knotted together.  Massage helps to break down this painful condition, improving function.  It softens and relaxes permanently over contracted muscle tissue, which improves flexibility and injury recovery time.  Massage can work in the opposite way by stimulating inactive or weak muscle.   Sports massage is very beneficial pre and post exercise to aid the
elimination of toxin build up and help maintain good muscle condition. Massage can make you far more aware of the state of your muscles, pin pointing where you hold your tension, which in turn will make you more aware of what you can do to reduce the every day stresses put on your body.

Skeletal System


This system is the fundamental framework of our body.  It provides strength, protection, and has 6 types of joints to aid movement.  Bone is continuously renewing its cells and also produces blood cells, crucial for life.
Massage improves the strength and condition of bone marrow, by increasing blood and nutrient supply.  It can stimulate the periosteum, the covering of bone and provides greater joint flexibility and range of movement. 


The Digestive System

The digestive system consists of a long muscular tube beginning at the mouth and ending at the anus.  During the ingested food’s journey, all the water, minerals, nutrients and vitamins the body needs, are broken down and absorbed through the walls of the stomach, intestines and colon. 

The main area for absorption is in the intestines, which are very accessible for massage.  The bolus of food can be manually moved along towards the excretory tube, helping constipation problems and IBS. Using various movements over the abdomen, production

of gastric juice is stimulated which improves the efficiency of the whole process of digestion, absorption and excretion.


The Nervous System


The nervous system is a complex, highly organised network of neurons and neuralgia consisting of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Electric impulses travel to and from the brain along neurons to receptor sites.  They detect internal and external stimuli, carrying the information back to the brain, where decisions are made regarding appropriate responses. 

Massage soothes and stimulates our nervous tissue, depending on the individuals needs. 

It is possible to re-train patterns that control body functions, and make the individual more aware of the connection of the whole body.  Massage can help to relieve chronic and acute pain, promoting recovery.  

The Psych


Our physiological body is directly associated to our psychological body.  When we become “stressed” the chance of becoming ill increases approximately 80%. One in four adults become depressed at some time in their lives, and many more suffer with over preoccupation of problems.  We all have everyday stresses relating to work, family, relationships, society and the environment.  When our bodies react, breathing becomes shallow and fast, the heart rate increases and the digestion process slows.  All the energy is focused on the muscular system to deal physically with the problem. Unfortunately most of the time that force is not needed, and the unused energy manifests itself negatively in the body.


Massage has a definite positive effect to our minds, reducing tension, depression and anxiety, by increasing endomorphin production, our natural happy drug. You become aware of the present through the sensation of touch whilst a feeling of calm and relaxation occurs.  Insomniacs find massage therapy a very useful aid in sleeping better.

The Lymphatic System


The lymphatic system is connected to the circulatory system.  Along side every single capillary, vein and artery there is a lymph vessel draining intestitial fluid, unwanted toxins and transporting lipids from the gastrointestinal tract to the blood. The fluid is pumped up the body by muscle contractions, passing through nodes that break down the waste.  It is one of the main cleansing systems of the body along with the urinary system.

Massage can directly improve the lymphatic flow, reducing puffiness, improving transportation of lipids and increasing the protection against disease.

The Circulatory System


The circulatory system consists of the heart, the blood vessels and the blood. The heart acts as a pump, continually pushing several pints of oxygenated blood to all cells of the body.  The oxygen attaches itself to the red blood cells, whereas white blood cells fight disease.  The blood also contains platelets that form clots to heal wounds, and carries nutrients, hormones and minerals around the body. 

The various movements of massage manually increase blood flow around the body, in turn reducing your heart rate and blood pressure.  Massage also strengthens the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells and natural killer cell activity.

The Human Body    

The human body can seem too complex to comprehend, but that need not be the case. Below is a brief description of the main systems and how massage affects each one.  It is worth reading to gain a basic understanding of how you work!  The explanations are to the point, helping you to gain the most from a session of massage therapy.  Although I have described them individually, one would not work without the other, they are all working as a balanced unit and massage enhances them all, creating a wonderful sense of wellbeing.

Pregnancy

Research has showed that having holistic treatments like massage and reflexology during pregnancy can help with the many aches and pains one can experience, easing back ache, headaches and other difficult symptoms. Susie has also treated many over due women with reflexology and even used it during labour to help with pain. Read on to find out how massage can affect all the systems of the body.

THE SYSTEMS OF THE BODY

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The Skin

 

The skin is the largest organ of the body.  It does far more than just cover the internal systems.  It acts as a thermostat, regulating the temperature of the body, whilst expelling toxins through the pores. It also protects against disease and the sun’s harmful rays.  We have folds of skin original to each and every human being commonly known as fingerprints, and the skin has the ability to continuously renew itself every single month.  You can tell much about someone’s health by the quality of their skin.

Massage enhances the health and nourishment of the skin’s texture.  It improves the function of the sebaceous and sweat glands, and stimulates the many nerves receptor

pads, especially in the hands, face and feet.  Our skin is very receptive to touch.


The Respiratory system


The respiratory system consists of the lungs, bronchus, trachea, mouth and nose. 

We subconsciously inhale and exhale air because of a change of pressure in the lung cavity.  This provides our bodies with the oxygen crucial for life, and a method for expelling the unwanted gases like carbon dioxide.

Massage can increase oxygen capacity by 10 – 15%.  It promotes deeper and easier breathing, increasing the amount of oxygen reaching the cells.  All our body processes need oxygen to survive so massage is a wonderful way to improve absorption.