Beyond that delicious, drowsy feeling we all have after a good massage, there exist powerful and proven scientific reasons for the release in body, mind, and spirit we experience.
Any leading-edge massage therapist education and massage training will delve into an exploration of anatomy and physiology and how it relates to recommendations and techniques for treatment. But if you are exploring and determining your career path, recognizing the extraordinary impact you can have on health and well-being by attending massage therapy school, may well help you in making an informed decision.
So how do anatomy and physiology play into the deeper, lasting benefits clients experience and into keeping you, as a registered massage therapist (RMT), safe from injury, able to effectively perform over time?
The Role of Anatomy in Massage Therapy
The therapeutic procedure of manipulating soft tissues in the body, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments, to relieve tension, is as effective as the RMTs ability to understand anatomy and, specifically, three systems of the body – muscular, skeletal, and nervous.
- Muscular System – Comprised of muscles, tendons, and connective tissues. These provide support and enable movement; tension can cause discomfort, pain and even damage over time. Working the muscles relieves tension and stress, improves blood flow, can initiate removal of waste in the body, promote healing and restore muscle function.
- Skeletal System – Provides a framework for the muscles. Relief in the muscles indirectly affects the skeletal system, by relieving tension placed on the bones and promotes joint mobility and improved alignment.
- Nervous System – Responsible for involuntary functions in the body via the autonomic nervous system. Massage, in reducing stress, providing relaxation, and stimulating the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, can assist in the improvement of mood and alleviate anxiety, even depression.
The Role of Physiology in Massage Therapy
Behind and within the anatomical systems of the body lie the physiological aspects and mechanisms that are directly impacted by everyday stressors, habits, heredity, and environment and that can be alleviated by massage therapy.
- Lymphatic System – Responsible for flushing waste and toxins from the body, this system directly impacts the immune function and response. Massage is known for stimulating the flow of the lymph and can enhance lymphatic drainage. This aids in the body’s detoxification process and overall health and well-being.
- Blood System – Blood circulation also facilitates the removal of metabolic waste, like lactic acid that can accumulated in the muscles during exercise. Massage stimulates blood vessels, causing them to dilate, improving their ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the organs and areas in need. Increasing blood flow and stimulating toxin removal can reduce soreness and promote faster recovery from exercise and overall healing.
- Endocrine System – Responsible for regulating hormone production. Massage therapy stimulates the body in a way that can release oxytocin, the hormone responsible for feelings of relaxation and bonding or “love”, and can reduce cortisol, the primary hormone connected to stress. Alleviating stress and promoting feelings of love, can go a long way to bringing peace and joy to our lives. Isn’t it amazing that you, as a RMT, can offer this to others throughout the course of your career?
Added Benefits of Understanding Anatomy and Physiology
- Recognizing the Client Experience – When you understand the body, how it functions, how your hands, the type and length of pressure and the position and focus you apply affects each element of the system and thus your client, you provide better recommendations and massage.
- Protection and Career Longevity – As you learn about what impact massage has on your client, you are also learning to recognize the signs of impact on your own body during the massage process. This knowledge allows you to understand your needs, attend to your muscles as they become fatigued, improve your own alignment, and posture and recognize the need for rest periods and self care. This allows you to serve your clients without a detriment to your own health and well-being, and improves your stamina and ability to enjoy and thrive in this rewarding career for years to come.
Massage therapy school and your massage therapist classes, will undoubtedly guide you in understanding the power of anatomy and physiology in serving your clients. However, perhaps in recognizing the greater impact you can have on the mind and spirit of another person, all by stimulating and providing relief to their muscles and systems, will bring light to the extraordinary career before you.
If you’re still determining how your interests may match a career such as this, take the “Anderson College Massage Therapy Career Training Readiness” Quiz.
If you’re ready to learn more about how you can embark on a Massage Therapy career, we’re here to help you navigate your way from program selection, exploring if you’re eligible for financial assistance, and first day of classes, all the way to crossing the stage and applying for your dream job. Connect with our caring team today, book a virtual appointment with an Admissions Advisor and let’s get you started, shall we?
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