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Massage: Detoxification Support

Certainly don't want to usurp actual #massage therapists, because I don't even pretend to play one at home, but as a clinician, I must give voice to the incredible benefits of this healing modality, particularly for those embracing a #detoxification program. You are likely quite familiar with massage, but maybe you think of it more as a luxury, a fun date, or a mom's escape with her girlfriends to the spa. It really is a bonafide treatment modality with a plethora of benefits and should be integrated into just about anyone's self-care regimen, especially if suffering from chronic dis-ease.



We've all been blessed with some level of massage, a relaxing foot or hand massage maybe, a shoulder rub. One of the greatest benefits of massage is its ability to enhance relaxation and reduce stress. Studies have also demonstrated its effect on autoimmune conditions, depression, pain syndromes, and chronic #fatigue, as well as stress. This primarily results from neurotransmitter increases in serotonin and dopamine, but also through decreasing our stress hormone, cortisol. Endorphins are released during massage as well, which influences pain relief and provides feelings of well-being. Massage has been utilized by many as their primary mode of depression therapy and researchers have found that massage has similar results on #depression as psychotherapy.


Release Tightness, Pain, and Stress


Massage therapy is a type of manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, either through rhythmically kneading the muscles, or applying pressure to various areas of the body. This brings blood and oxygen to the massaged areas and warms them to release tightness, pain, and stress. There are many different varieties of massage, or specialists, from Swedish massage to deep-tissue and trigger-point therapy to #reflexology. Since there are so many types available, it may be wise to investigate which one best resonates with you, or try them all!


Massages may be scheduled anywhere from twenty minutes to even ninety minutes, and are typically done in environments which are very calm and relaxing. The massage therapist will ask about your medication conditions, levels of stress, and goals for your session. They may even offer aromatherapy as part of your therapy.


Effects on the Lymph System and Ultimately Detoxification


While the impact on your state of mind might be enough motivation to utilize massage therapy, consider its role in your detoxification efforts as well. When you are massaged and your blood flow is stimulated, this bathes your lymphatic system which is an important part of your waste removal processes. The lymphatic system is twice the size of your circulatory system. Surprised? It's vessels are filled with lymph which gathers between your cells or your interstitial spaces, transporting nutrients, such as salts and #minerals, through the body to feed your cells. It also carries wastes that accumulate from normal cell function away from the cells so they can be deposited in the lymph nodes and ultimately the kidneys, lungs, colon, liver, and skin for elimination from the body. The lymph system can engulf and destroy viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.


The only way to effectively move the lymph throughout the body and to support the lymph nodes in releasing their cargo into the blood stress is through movement. Breathing, especially deep breathing, exercise, dancing, yoga, walking, and massage therapy can all assist in pumping the lymphatic system. Massage is particularly effective in moving lymph and decongesting lymph nodes. When working through a detoxification program, as you work to release toxins from your adipose tissues, you want to assure your body can readily release these through its various routes of elimination because they are ultimately more toxic to you once released into your blood stream. During your detoxification program, schedule a couple of massage therapy sessions so you can not only gain from its ability to offer enhanced relaxation, but also enhance your body's ability to release toxins and stress.

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Dr. Penny Lane
Dr. Penny Lane
Oct 09, 2020

Thank you, Jerry! I'll have to check out the article you've mentioned. Have you made massages part of your healthcare routine, and can I ask, if so, which variety is your favorite? I've had a few over the years, but admittedly, I lived a long time in a state of sympathetic nervous system dominance so I couldn't calm myself enough to enjoy the massage. I was mentally frustrated laying there thinking of all the other things I could accomplish and often found them painful. It was simply too stimulating and not productive enough for my taxed nervous system. Now that I have the ability to lay in savasana and really move into that parasympathetic state, I wonder if my experience…

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I completely agree with every aspect of the article that you wrote. The benefits of massage therapy has been documented over the years and real peer review journals have found it to be very beneficial to one’s health. Therefore, I believe it’s just as important as taking an aspirin or watching your weight or making sure your cholesterol is at the right levels as it is to get a good deep tissue massage to stimulate blood vessels and help with healing. I found this to be true all throughout my sports career and without massage I would get muscle cramps and fatigue very quickly.


Here’s a very good article on a peer review journal regarding massage therapy and health.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4925170/


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