Hello Wellness Fans!
This is Audra here, writing to you on behalf of Undine’s Day Spa. As some of you may know, I am a B.C. Registered Massage Therapist and have been working in the spa industry for the past 7 years. I began my career as an Aesthetician, and have progressively increased my education over the years to get to where I am today. Every minute of this career path has been fantastic; helping people improve their quality of life is definitely one of my passions! I will be composing a blog here for you, providing some information on: the benefits of massage, new research in the industry, and conditions that you may not have thought could be addressed using massage therapy. I would really appreciate reader feedback, and please feel free to let me know if there is anything in particular you would like to learn more about!
Today, to kick things off – A brief overview on one of the reasons why massage makes us feel awesome! One of the most widely recognized effects of massage is that it decreases the sensation of pain. Aside from the highly trained touch of a massage therapist, we all instinctively address our own pain by rubbing or squeezing areas of injury. Positive human touch is a powerful thing, and our bodies are ready and wired to respond to it. If you have ever had a body part waxed, you have probably noticed that your aesthetician presses their hand over the freshly waxed skin immediately after removing the strip. They are doing this for a reason, folks! You may already associate this gesture as being comforting in nature, but if you’ve never really noticed it, next time you get a wax, ask them not to do it after one strip, and assess the difference for yourself.
The reason why this touch causes the pain to feel less intense is due to a theory called ‘Pain-Gating’; it occurs in our bodies due to the fact that we have specific receptors for different sensations, connecting to nerves that travel to the brain at various speeds. Pain sensations travel to the brain along slow-moving sensory nerve pathways (ex. back roads). The sensations produced by massage however, travel to the brain along fast-moving nerve pathways (ex. highways). If sensations are travelling along these two pathways simultaneously, those arriving along the fast-moving pathways have a blocking effect on those arriving on the slow-moving pathways. In a nutshell – The sensations of massage win the race to the brain, and slam the gate in pain’s face! Whoohoo!
Thanks for reading!
-Audra Coton, RMT