There are a lot of myths about massage that get tossed around. One of the myths is that "Massage increase your circulation". Even I didn't know about this for a long time until I stumbled onto a facebook group for massage therapists, and they cleared it up for me.
The circulatory is a closed system, so that means that if you increase blood circulation in one area of the body, another area of the body must lose some of its blood circulation. Massage may bring blood flow to the area locally that you are working on, but it isn't "increasing circulation", it is simply letting the blood go somewhere else. Increasing circulation would mean we are literally adding to the amount of blood in the body, which we are obviously not doing. There is a finite amount of blood in the body, we are just making sure it gets distributed throughout the body.
And that isn't a bad thing. There are a lot of people who lack blood flow to their feet or their hands. So working on their hands and feet, warming it up and getting blood flow to the area is a very good thing.
If an area of the body, either tissue or organ, doesn't get enough blood flow to the area, it could become Ischemic. And if an area becomes Ischemic for too long, it starts to Atrophy, which means the tissue or organ starts to waste away, due to degeneration of cells, gradual decline in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect. It is a wasting away of tissues due to a number of causes, one of them being Ischemia.
So obviously we want to have a healthy circulation of blood through the body to keep the tissue and organs healthy. There was a joke in the massage therapist facebook group that if anything, it was the massage therapist who was getting the circulation benefits by moving and working, rather than the client.
So the best way to achieve improve circulation and get the heart performing at its best and sending blood to all corners of the body, is...drum roll please......Exercise!
Exercise is the best thing you can do to improve your circulation throughout the body. Moving your body, even just walking if way more effective at improving your circulation than massage is. Not even including the improved circulation, exercise is the single best thing you can do for yourself if you want to improve your health.
Now be sure to take into account your personal situation and your health, and exercise accordingly. Also, the more fun it is, the better. This is why I think sports are so great. But as with most adults, after high school or college, most of us stop playing sports and it becomes much harder to stay in shape.
Anyways, thats all for today. I hope you got some value from this article and let me know if you liked it.
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Licensed Massage therapist (LMT) and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT).