The Science Behind Why Massages Make You Tingle
Understanding Nerve Stimulation Through Massage
The tingling feeling, a common post-massage sensation, signifies your body’s physiological and psychological reaction to touch. This response is particularly pronounced in muscle tissue, which, along with connective tissue like fascia and tendons, comprises about half of a person’s body weight and is rich with nerves. Muscles, being the most sensory-producing organ in the body, relay a wealth of information back to the brain, facilitated by the touch of massage.
Muscle Sensory Awareness and Proprioception
Many people are unaware of the constant feedback their nerves provide until discomfort arises. Yet, nerve endings are adept at detecting pressure, movement, and stretch. This continuous feedback is known as proprioception. Because it’s always active, we become desensitized to it—until something changes this equilibrium. That’s where massage comes in, adding stimuli to the muscular system, and heightening your awareness of your body’s position and movement.
The Physiological Effects of Massage on the Body
By reducing stress hormones and increasing feel-good neurotransmitters, massage therapy improves blood flow and facilitates the nourishment of tissues. The act itself, focused on muscle and fascia, surprises the proprioceptive system, much like a flavorful meal delights the taste buds, making massage an ideal way to reacquaint ourselves with our body’s sensory experiences.
Nervous System Response to Massage
The nervous system, including the CNS and peripheral systems, is central to the tingling sensation. The sensory receptors in the skin and muscles respond to the therapist’s touch, pressure, and movements, triggering the tingling sensation that reflects the body’s relaxation and rejuvenation process.
Different Types of Massages and Their Impact on the Body
Each massage technique, from Swedish to deep tissue, can stimulate different responses. They impact circulation, address muscle knots, and affect nerve endings, contributing to the tingling sensation and enhanced proprioception.