One of the easiest ways to tell if you are too stressed is if your breathing has become shallow or constricted. When you are breathing in this unnatural way, entering into a relaxed state is almost unattainable. Usually, the muscles surrounding your ribs and stomach are all tightened up, causing any air flow to be cut off.
One of the best ways you can get back into your body’s natural breathing flow is through massage therapy. Using massage will help your body relax which will ease the tension of your muscles and promote easier breathing. Also, if your constricted breathing is caused by respiratory issues, allergies, sinus problems, asthma, or bronchitis, you can also benefit from massage. Research has shown time and time again that massage can have a positive effect on your body’s respiratory system.
A lot of the muscles located in either the front or back of your upper body are accessory respiratory muscles. If any of these areas becomes tightened or short, normal breathing patterns will be disrupted. With massage therapy, you can start to elongate and let go of these muscles, which in turn leads to deeper and easier breathing.
One of the ways massage can help relieve respiratory issues is tapotement, which is a method used in a Swedish massage technique that involves recurring tap strokes. When this method is used on the back, it can help release mucus in the lungs for a clearer pathway for your breathe to travel.
As you may know, massage can also greatly improve your posture. As this occurs, you start to open your chest and expand your rib cage which creates a setting for your lungs to function in the most efficient way possible. Additionally, your parasympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for regulation of internal organs and glands, reacts to the massage by slowing your breathing and allowing it to become deeper.
Aside from helping to relax your muscles, massage can also assist individuals in increasing their awareness of their daily stress levels. When your body knows how much better it feels to be in a relaxed and calm state, your mind will be able to take you there more easily in the future. This is important in order to stop the damaging effects of stress before they become chronic. When you can breathe easier, you experience less stress and live a better life.
If you have any questions related to structural integration, other types of massage, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Structura, please call us at 801-897-8711.