Massage is part of integrative medicine and can be used for various medical conditions. In massage therapy, a therapist rubs and kneads the body’s soft tissues, including muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and skin. The therapist varies the amount of pressure and movement. Individuals often start feeling the effects right away. One of the benefits is increased temperature. Increased temperature amplifies blood flow and circulation, enabling muscular and connective tissues to release restriction, and muscle tightness, relieve tension, and improve movement. A massage therapist will use different techniques to increase the temperature to treat various conditions.
Some patients want to know why their muscles heat up or burn during a massage. Muscles burn because of the accumulation of waste in the cells. The waste products are released as a result of massage. The muscles release lactate, a byproduct of glucose. The effects of deep tissue massage are almost the same as the effects of exercise. During the massage:
Muscle heat or burn during massage differs for everybody. Some individuals don’t feel it at all. The session can be so intense that the muscles can’t clear the lactate/toxins fast enough, causing the burning sensation.
The temperature of the fascia can also be increased. Fascia is the thick, fibrous layer of connective tissues beneath the skin that can often become restrictive. Increased temperature in the superficial and deep tissues releases, relaxes, and loosens tight, tense, shortened, and/or injured areas, allowing muscular tissues to increase in elasticity, flexibility, and relaxation. Heart rate is raised, improving circulation and increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the affected areas and the rest of the body.
Dion LJ, et al. Development of a hospital-based massage therapy course at an academic medical center. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. 2015; doi:10.3822/ijtmb.v8i1.249.
Massage therapy: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. www.nccih.nih.gov/health/massage-therapy-what-you-need-to-know. Accessed Jan. 5, 2021.
Rodgers NJ, et al. A decade of building massage therapy services at an academic medical center as part of a healing enhancement program. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2015; doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.07.004.
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The information herein on "Increased Temperature and Circulation: EP's Chiropractic Team" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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