If you’ve read my blog before, you know that massage has incredible effects on all areas of your body, and can be a complimentary treatment for just about all medical conditions. Massage provides positive outcomes for each of the twelve systems of the body. In order to understand how massage can help you and any illnesses you may have, it is important that you understand how the systems of your body work and what effects massage has on them. Check back on my blog weekly for a series of entries on each body system. This week: Your reproductive system.
HOW DOES THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM WORK?
The reproductive system is pretty self-explanatory. It’s how we reproduce. It’s the answer to the question, “Mommy, where do babies come from?”
In males, the reproductive system consists of the testes (carried inside the scrotum), the urethra (carried inside the penis) and other small structures. Sperm (the male sex cell) is created in the testes and sent through other smaller organs to mature before being ejaculated from the urethra, where it will then attempt to fertilize the female’s egg. The sperm must mature or else it will not be able to perform the fertilization process. The main male sex hormone is testosterone, which is secreted by the testes.
The female reproductive system consists of the uterus (where the fertilized egg develops into a fetus), the ovaries (where the unfertilized eggs live), the Fallopian tubes (where conception takes place) that connect the ovaries to the uterus, and the vagina. The primary female sex hormone is estrogen, which is secreted by the ovaries. Normal healthy males continue to produce sperm throughout their lifetime. Women, however are born with about 2 million eggs divided up into each ovary. Women do not produce more eggs, and even healthy women have lost about 90% of their eggs by the age of thirty.
In order for a baby to be made, the sperm must fertilize the egg. During orgasm, muscular contractions push the male’s sperm out of the urethra and into the female’s cervix, where it then travels into the uterus and Fallopian tubes in search of an egg to fertilize. Muscular contractions in the female’s body during orgasm aid the sperm through the birthing canal. If an egg is fertilized, it moves to the uterus and attaches itself to the uterine wall. Over the course of the next nine months, it will become a tiny human before pushing its way out of the birthing canal and meeting his/her mommy and daddy.
WHAT DOES MASSAGE DO FOR YOUR REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM?
Massage should never consist of the therapist touching the client inappropriately, meaning that your reproductive system will mostly benefit from the general effects massage has on your entire body.
As discussed in the post about prenatal massage, massage can have great benefits for the mother and the unborn child. Massage can make labor smoother and less painful.
Massage can also relieve menstrual cramps and relieve low back pain associated with the monthly cycle. Massage over the abdomen may even improve the health of the reproductive organs, by relaxing the pelvic muscles. This, in turn, removes any muscular restrictions to the reproductive organs allowing them to function properly.
Regular massage can also help ease pain associated with treatment of pathologies (such as cancer) in the reproductive organs. There is also evidence that massage may be beneficial for men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
I hope this week’s blog didn’t make anyone too uncomfortable. After all, it’s meant to be educational and we’re all adults, right? Well, look at it this way, we’ve talked about it, it’s done, it’s out of the way, and we never have to mention this conversation ever again.
For more on the benefits of massage therapy, check out the other blogs in the Body Systems Series, listed below!
The Body Systems Series
The Male Reproductive System by Web MD