Massage Therapy is your key to stress reduction. Did you know that cortisol levels and other hormones related to stress lessen for those undergoing certain types of massage therapy? One study published in the New York Times revealed that participants receiving Swedish massage once or more a week over a five-week period had reduced levels of cortisol, increased white blood cell counts and increased levels of oxytocin, known as the “trust hormone.”
Help Your Heart
Reducing your stress level is wonderful, but even better is helping your heart. Massage Therapy has been shown to help lower high blood pressure, which is vital in preventing stroke and other cardiovascular issues. In one study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, half of the participants with high blood pressure received Swedish massages for 10-15 minutes, three times a week, the other half only relaxed without massage. The massage group had a significant drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure both after the massages and even 72 hours after the study was completed.
Improve Mood, Sleep and Performance
Massage Therapy is not just for the stressed or those with high blood pressure. Whether you want to improve your mood, athletic performance or just get a good night’s sleep, massage may be the solution. Massage Therapy has been shown to release pain and mood elevating hormones in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine. It can also improve flexibility and healing for athletes, while offering those with insomnia a more restful night.
A review of 17 different studies on the relation of Massage Therapy and depression was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2010. The overall results showed a significant effect on reducing depression through the use of massage, making it beneficial to anyone looking to improve mood or reduce mental stress.