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  • Writer's pictureClare

Have Heart...part 2

Research has shown that regular massage treatments helps boost our immune system by increasing blood flow, flushing out toxins and calming the nervous system. But what is actually happening to promote this and how does it effect a healthy heart?

Did you know there is about 0.2 milligrams of gold in our blood. It plays a role in the health and maintenance of our joints, and is a key element in transmitting electrical signals throughout the body - but thats not the only thing that helps gives you that post massage glow!

Why have a Massage Treatment?

We are 90% water. The brain and heart are about 73% water. The lungs are about 83% water.

When we have a massage treatment, we are moving and changing tissue. It's like putting a blanket through a ringer (well maybe not quite that dramatic!) Blood and fluid are being pushed and drained through the muscle. Joints are being encouraged to produce it's own form of WD40 called synovial fluid, and all of this has a knock on effect that calms and warms the heart.

“The heart is a muscle, and you strengthen muscles by using them.

The more I lead with my heart, the stronger it gets.”

– Mark Miller

The vascular system is amazing.

As we mentioned in our last blog, our hearts pumps about 1.5 million barrels of blood during our entire lifetime. We have about 60,000 miles of blood vessels running through our bodies. There are three types of muscle in our body. Skeletal, smooth and cardiac.

Skeletal is what we generally understand as muscle. It's what holds our skeleton in place and is responsible for movement. The Vascular system, our artery, vains and capillaries are made from smooth muscle and the cardiac muscle - is the heart.

In a nutshell:

  • The heart is the pump.

  • The artery - has the thickest wall.

  • The veins have the biggest space within it's tube.

  • The capillaries are the most permeable.

  • The term blood pressure refers to the pressure within the arterial vessels.

  • Arteries don't need valves because pressure from the pumping heart is so strong, that the blood can only flow in one direction.

  • Veins contain valves that ensure blood flows in only one direction.

  • Capillaries form a connection between the arteries and veins. They are vital in the role of gases exchange. Passing nutrients, and metabolic waste between the blood and the tissue cells.

Blood flow through the veins is not a direct result of the beating heart, it needs a bit of help. Which is where our skeletal muscle action and respiratory movements come in.

Simply put. Movement and breathing with the diaphragm help with blood flow.

So whats in Blood?

All of the above is done, just so blood can flow smoothly around the body. Over 50% of our blood is made up of a liquid part, called plasma, which consists of water (92%), salts, and protein. The solid parts within the plasma contains red and white blood cells, minerals, and platelets, which help the blood to clot. There are two types of blood.

  • Oxygenated blood - enriched with oxygen - being pumped away from the heart.

  • Deoxygenated blood - oxygen has been used - being pumped towards the heart.

Blood nourishes our whole being.

Supporting the Vascular System

When we massage, one of the things we are doing is encouraging good blood flow.

On a surface level, the heat and movement through and around the muscle encourages the capillaries to soften and open. This encourages that exchange - we just spoke about - of nutrients, and metabolic waste between the blood, tissue cells and the Lympth system. This is also perfect for massage such as Aromatherapy, as the oils are also absorbed into the blood.

Touch also calms and reassures the nervous system. It can help with past emotional or physical tramas by helping to reset the nervous system. Which in turn calms and slows the breath.

On top of the diaphragm sits the heart. As the diaphragm slows and relaxes, the heart also slows and relaxes. Reducing high blood pressure and that pounding feeling anyone with anxiety will be feeling.

On a deeper level, other organs are also now going through a change and feeling the benefit due to the xtra flow of blood.

The liver has over 500 functions. Cleaning the blood as it flows through the liver is one of those functions. The liver converts ammonia to a much less toxic substance called urea. This is released back into into the blood which is by now making it's way to the kidneys.

On route, the digestive system, that has now calmed and is singing out loud, begins to digest. Water is absorbed through the colon and waste begins to flow to it's final destination.

With the blood, when it then reaches the kidney's, it is filtered again. About a half cup of blood every minute, removing waste and extra water to make urine. Which then makes it's way to the bladder.

This is why you often need to go to the toilet after a treatment. And you are advised to drink only water for the next 24hours. It's also why you sometimes feel really tired. A lot has happened. There has been a nice big clean out, and a sleep will then help your brain and body do even more. If you can - don't fight it! Go sleep!

Feeling a bit dizzy can also happen to some people during a treatment. Again, this is to do blood flow. If the muscles around your neck and shoulders are over worked and super tight, blood flow can be sluggish. When the muscle and tissue begins to open up, the vessels also open up and oxygen rushes to the brain. Who doesn't want that! People often feel energised and alive after freeing up this area. It's a lovely thing to see.

The Verdict

Obviously there is a lot more going on chemically during a massage, but I just wanted to talk about some of the effects that a massage can have on our vascular system.

Aiding the flow and cleaning of our blood is key to great skin, nails, hair and gums. It makes our eyes shine, help improve digestion, while the oils also nourish and moisturise the skin.

All in all, it gives us confidence. A positive feeling within ourselves. Even just the fluidity of movement you feel after a treatment gives you a hop, skip and a jump.

So I say, plan a treatment for after lockdown. It will lift you spirits and give you hope. If you have an injury, get in touch. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain.


In our next blog we will look at how movement and massage helps our brain and body.

💧In the meantime - drink more water! Try make sure it's warm. Go on, you can do it! 💧

For bookings and enquiries click here.

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