This post will talk about some of the benefits of receiving regular treatments and the effect they can have on our minds. It’s safe to say it’s important for all of us to take care of both our physical and mental well-being. But when we break it down, what really makes us feel so much better after treatment……within Sports Therapy?
To begin with, consultations can be a vital component in relieving mental tension as they not
only provide you with an opportunity to tell us what’s wrong but allow you to offload how
you’re feeling particularly if you’ve ever felt alone. It’s been proven time and time again that there are huge benefits in talking to someone that isn’t related to us and in this context, pain and injury. Particularly for those experiencing chronic pain where symptoms aren’t often visible – as telling us how you’re feeling can sometimes feel like a weight has been lifted.
Moving on to treatments. Take soft massage techniques, it’s no secret that massages allow
us to relax and unwind. This is partially due to the mechanical and psychological effects they
have on the brain.
Excuse us for a second whilst we go a little technical. There are two different types of nerve fibres called Nociceptors; A fibres (which detect and warn our bodies of damage) and C fibres (which convey chronic pain, forcing our bodies to stop an activity causing symptoms like muscular spasms) which sends signals from the spinal cord where they are stimulated by things such as heat, chemical and pressures. In the ‘A fibre’ category, we have three types: A alpha, A beta (the focus of today) and A delta. Alpha-beta fibres are responsible for conveying sensations of touch to the brain, which impulses much faster than others thus inhibiting the transmission of A delta and C fibres. So, in a less wordy way, by rubbing the thing that hurts, we can stop/prevent the feeling of pain going to the brain and massage can play a big role in this as it enhances the efficiency of this process. It's like a natural pain relief. Cool right?
The final thing for today’s post is how our minds are affected by massage regarding our
stress levels. Ever heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response? Well, this is to do with the
sympathetic nervous system where the body responds to a crisis or dangerous situation.
However, massage triggers the opposite of this. The parasympathetic nervous system.
When the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated, the body releases certain
hormones such as serotonin and dopamine as well as increasing endorphins and
decreasing our levels in cortisol (the stress hormone). Soft tissue therapies are just one of the many beneficial treatments that we as therapists can help you with, but to conclude, having regular treatments can be incredibly beneficial for your mind as well as your body.