Any massage client will attest to the relaxing power of massage therapy. And new research indicates massage therapy combined with heat relaxes the autonomic nervous system.
In a recently published article entitled, “How Massage Influences Autonomic Nervous System Regulation,” author and expert, Kelly Armstrong, writes:
“How massage therapy influences the autonomic nervous (ANS) and endocrine systems is what is going to elevate this profession out of the doldrums of poor perception in the marketplace,” adding that, to many physicians, massage is merely an adjunctive and not a standalone therapy. To many people, massage is used only by pleasure-seekers.
“The only way to end this misperception is to prove massage’s medical legitimacy—and this can be done through evidence-based science on how massage can positively influence autonomic nervous system regulation,’ she writes.
So, what is the ANS?
It is the part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes.
“Looking forward, if the massage therapy industry can provide published evidence of nervous system regulation techniques, the profession will have the first real scientific proof that massage alone can play a viable and essential role in future of patient rehab and general health maintenance,” she writes.
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