#4 Skin structure for massage therapists | How massage affects our skin | Massage lesson
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#4 Skin structure for massage therapists | How massage affects our skin | Massage lesson


Hello again. In this video, we will talk about the first
and in fact about the only organ in the client’s body, with which the hands of the massage
therapist directly contact. We will talk about the skin. We will briefly review its structure and functions
and talk about the impact of massage on it. The skin has many important functions and
this determines its complex structure. It has three main layers. The outermost layer is the epidermis. Underneath it lies the dermis. And the deepest third layer is the hypodermis
or subcutaneous tissue. Some sources, by the way, describe only two
upper layers of the skin, and the subcutaneous tissue is described, somewhat apart from the
rest of the skin, as if it is a separate organ. But in anatomy the hypodermis is always considered
as a part of the skin, and therefore we will also consider the skin as an organ consisting
of three layers. Let’s take a quick look at each of them. The epidermis as we have said is the outermost
layer. Its main function is to protect the body from
various external influences. It can even be said that the epidermis is
a kind of border that must always be under control. The epidermis, even after a shower, is not
a model of purity, because it is inhabited by numerous bacteria and viruses. And if the epidermis is damaged, they can
penetrate into our body and cause various diseases. Also the epidermis is constantly affected
by various chemicals that are in the air and water, but due to the structure of the epidermis,
they can not just easily get into our body. So what is its structure? If we separate the epidermis from the underlying
dermis, and enlarge it, we will see a multitude of cells, of various shapes, which lie close
to each other and are arranged in numerous layers. And between them we will not see any vessels. The absolute majority of all cells of the
epidermis are keratinocytes, which are formed in the deepest layer of the epidermis in its
basal layer. Gradually, as they grow older, they move away
from the basal layer, as if pushed out by younger cells to the surface, and at the very
end of their life they turn into flattened, dead cells that protect the underlying layers
and which look quite nice with a very strong increase. In the deep layers of the epidermis we can
find special skin cells melanocytes, which produce a protective pigment melanin. This pigment protects the skin from ultraviolet
radiation and thus protects our body from sunlight. The number of these cells is maximal among
dark-skinned people, and minimally, on the contrary, in blond and redheads. And, by the way, by the amount of pigment,
that is, by the degree of darkness, we can indirectly judge how the skin of a particular
person is protected from external influence. For example, some authors of massage textbooks
write that people with dark skin usually tolerate a stronger massage a little more easily than
those with lighter skin. But this does not mean that blondes need only
be stroked, and dark ones can be turned inside out. The next is the dermis. This is the second or middle layer of skin. This layer is already significantly protected
by the overlying epidermis and its structure is completely different. There are also many different cells here,
but there are many fibers between them. These fibers enable the skin to be both durable
and fairly elastic. For example, collagen fibers, which are thicker,
are responsible for strength, and elastic fibers, which are thinner, are responsible
for elasticity. These fibers are composed of proteins, which
in turn are secreted by the cells of the dermis. Massage therapists need to take into account
the fact that the composition of these fibers is not definitively determined, and it may
change under the influence of various factors acting on the skin, including under the influence
of massage. In the dermis is also located many different
receptors that perceive irritation from the outside. And each type of receptor specializes in its
type of irritation. Thanks to them, a person can distinguish between
pain, temperature, touch and pressure. The sensitivity of the receptors is also not
constant, but varies under the influence of various factors, such as, for example, the
time of day, the degree of fatigue, and some others. In this layer, unlike the epidermis, we can
find many blood and lymphatic vessels. There are also sweat and sebaceous glands,
which secrete sweat and sebum on the surface of the epidermis, respectively. Through sweat, the body gets rid of harmful
or unnecessary substances and during the day under normal conditions about half a liter
of sweat or even more is released to the skin surface. In the dermis there are also hair follicles,
and muscles that lift the hair. These muscles are unlikely to help their wearer
stand out on the beach as they have microscopic dimensions and their main task is to increase
heat transfer or on the contrary to keep the body warm. Moreover, these muscles are not controlled
by our will and maximum at their contraction we will see “goose bumps”. The third and deepest layer of skin to which
attention is especially riveted is our subcutaneous tissue or hypodermis. This is the very layer of skin where the fatty
tissue so hated by many has hidden. This layer contain a certain amount of fat,
which is definitely not superfluous in our body. In general, nature is a very competent builder
and therefore everything that exists in our body, and even more so has withstood such
a lengthy selection and test of time is not something random or superfluous. Sometimes it seems to me that some people
would agree to exchange the last reserves of their fat for a tail or something like
that, which was eliminated by evolution for uselessness, rather than walking with fatty
tissue unfashionable now. But back to the hypodermis. It consists of fat segments, which are formed
by fat cells, and these fat segments are divided by partitions. The functions of this layer: it is the mechanical
protection of the underlying tissues from various hits. This is thermal protection, as fat is a poor
heat conductor. Fat is also a depot of certain vitamins and
a nutrient reserve in case of starvation. Adipose tissue also has hormonal function,
which in itself requires respect for it. And despite the fact that adipose tissue performs
a number of very important functions in the body, many people still want to get rid of
it, and they want to get rid of it without negative consequences for their health. And for losing weight quite often people resort
to massage. Let’s say a few words about the development
and changes in adipose tissue. The number of fat cells in an adult remains
more or less constant throughout life. If an adult is gaining or losing weight then
this is mainly due to the amount of fat in individual cells and not due to a change in
the number of fat cells themselves. The number of fat cells in humans is partly
laid before birth namely in the last months of intrauterine life as well as in the first
years of life and during puberty. And this means that the amount of fat cells
in any person depends largely on the behavior of their parents. For example, a child, especially in the early
periods does not particularly mind when every meal is stuffed into him. And in childhood it is parents who determine
the size of servings and the quality of food. Therefore taking this opportunity I want to
say hello to all present and future parents as well as grandparents who love to feed their
children and grandchildren with something tasty and high-calorie. Let’s note another interesting point that
is not usually mentioned in the massage books. Pay attention to the ratio of skin layers. We see a thin layer of the epidermis a thicker
layer of the dermis and again a thin layer of the hypodermis. In fact, the hypodermis in many areas is much
thicker than the dermis. If we take and look at the absolute dimensions
of all layers of the skin the results will be approximately as follows: the epidermis
– up to 1.5 millimeter, the dermis – up to 5 millimeters, and the hypodermis in places
– up to 10 centimeters, although in some areas there is no subcutaneous tissue at all. And the last one about the structure. Everything that we have just considered applies
to the skin of a healthy adult. That is at different ages skin has differences
in both structure and physiology. Now let’s see how massage affects our skin. We will move from surface to deep layers. In the epidermis thanks to the massage, superficial
dead cells are removed better and this in turn facilitates and improves the work of
the sweat and sebaceous glands. In the dermis: massage increases the inflow
of arterial blood and with it comes more oxygen and nutrients. Also massage enhances the outflow of venous
blood and lymph which has anti-edematous effect. As a result, local temperature and metabolism
increase, unnecessary substances begin to remove more quickly and vice versa the necessary
substances and structures begin to form. Consequently, the conditions for tissues and
cells become better and they perform their functions better. Under the influence of massage also increases
the amount of elastic fibers in the dermis. Massage therapists and their clients note
this by the fact that the skin with regular massages becomes softer and more elastic. Also, the skin cells begin to actively synthesize
and release into the surrounding space various biologically active substances and thereby
increase the efficiency of the underlying muscles and neighboring nerves. Now about the effect on adipose tissue. I do not want to disappoint anyone but the
influence of classical massage on fatty tissue is not as great as some would like. Approximately 100 years ago in experiments
on animals, it was proved that massage with its usual strength and very strong, practically
does not change the amount of adipose tissue. Fat reserves in the body are not reduced when
the fats are beaten, kneaded or rubbed, but when the energy consumption in the body prevails
over its intake from food. And it is with this approach that fats will
go to the flow without any massages and other procedures. With a too strong massage in addition to the
fact that there will not be a necessary degreasing effect damage of the vessels, muscles and
other soft tissues will definitely occur. Some massage therapists and their clients
may not agree with this opinion. And as an example they sometimes cite some
of the manual techniques in which the fat stores in tissues can still decrease. But if we carefully study these techniques
we will see that in order to achieve this effect a special dosage is necessary. Sometimes it is estimated at several hours
of work in a small area of the body. Also, the impact with such techniques falls
not only on subcutaneous fat but also on more deeply located tissues. For example, the authors of such techniques
say that the work also happens with the fat that lies between the muscles. The result, which is achieved with such a
massage, goes through a very strong inflammation of the tissues, which can carry certain risks
and is not welcomed by the authors of traditional massage techniques. Finally the authors of such methods themselves
do not call it a massage despite the fact that it is made by hand. In other words, a classic massage does not
have a significant fat burning effect. But this does not mean that massage for losing
weight is absolutely useless. With regular massages the blood supply to
the skin improves, tissue metabolism increases, muscle fatigue decreases faster and they recover
better after exercise and as a result, conditions for losing weight are better than those who
do not massage at all. And this is how massage affects our skin. If you like the video, click thumb up and
share it. If you have questions, you can write them
below. See you in the next video.

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