simple message system for arudino and max

Hi, I was wondering if anyone can tell me if its possible to send messages from arduino to max msp that are more than simply reading the value of digital and analog pins? I am building an installation with multiple sensors, one is a people counter and others are just monitoring motion. I am doing the programming of the sensors inside arduino and then want to send values such as the number of people int he space from arduino to max. So at the moment I am storing values in variables and simply printing them using serial.println. Because I'm not simply reading the value of the pin I'm not sure exactly how to send the value of a particular variable using the simple message system would it be something like messageSendInt(myvariable); // if I wanted to send the value of a variable to max msp? Sorry if this is a very basic question. I'm a little confused about some of the commands in simple message system so I'm having trouble innovating on them.