Physical touch through therapeutic massage therapy is extremely beneficial for many reasons. The touch itself helps to ease physical symptoms such as tight muscles, improve circulation and decrease swelling. But did you know that touch is important for other reasons as well?

Benefits of Physical Touch:

The physical touch of massage therapy can also affect the nervous system. Our nervous system is made up of our brain and our nerves. Our nerves are all over our body, including in our skin and in our joints of our body. Our nerve receptors in our body send sensations to our brain, where these sensations are interpreted. This can help to dampen down the hypersensitive nervous system as well as decrease pain sensations that are developed in our brain.

Touch can also help to affect our processing of sensations and emotions in our brains by a “descending endogenous opiate system” that begins in our brain and is a “top-down approach.” This means it helps to release opioid-like substances and endorphins that help us to feel more positive, less pain, and improved mood. The more we can “train our brain” and our nervous system to relax and release, the better. This is also related to our emotions and other possible issues such as disordered thinking and processing that may lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Physical touch is important for many reasons, to include physical benefits, benefits to the nervous system and even our emotions. There is also a great benefit of connecting with others that occurs with touch and massage therapy is a nice way to experience this. This is a basic human need and regular massage can reduce physical and emotional pain.

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