Massage is one of the ancient arts of wellness. The first mentions of massage occurred in China in 2700 BCE, but it was not long before it spread to the Middle East, Greece, and India. Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. The goal of this manipulation is to promote relaxation and stress relief while easing pain and promoting an overall feeling of wellness. Physically speaking, massage also increases oxygen and blood flow to muscles. This can, in turn, promote your brain’s release of serotonin, the relaxation chemical. We know that most people suffer from pain in their back, neck, and shoulders due to today’s working conditions. Because of this, we’ll look at the best massage for back pain specifically, as well as styles that can help with other pain conditions.
Most people are familiar with the body’s vessel system that carries blood to and from the tissues, but few understand there is another equally vital system of vessels that removes cell wastes, proteins, excess fluid, viruses, and bacteria. The lymph system picks up fluids and waste products from the spaces between the cells and then filters and cleans them.
Like the roots of a tree, the lymph system starts as tiny vessels–only a single-cell wide–that eventually branch into larger and larger tubes that carry these fluids back to the bloodstream. This network of delicate vessels and lymph nodes is the primary structure of the immune system. The lymph nodes act as check points along the pathways of the vessels. They filter the fluid (called lymph) and serve as the home for lymphocytes–little Pac Man-like cells that attack and destroy foreign bacteria and viruses and even abnormal cells, like cancer cells.