Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about having a massage? Posted by Thann Sanctuary on August 23rd, 2010
For those of you who feel guilty about having a massage, or think that a massage is just a waste of money, and doesn’t do much, think again.
It’s no coincidence we often crave to be physically pampered,
nourished, and soothed when we’re feeling stressed or run down it’s our body’s way of telling us we need some tender loving care. Massage for health. And according to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, now science is backing this up. The college notes that studies conducted at the TOUCH Research Institute at the University of Miami have revealed that massage increases the availability of all neurohormones affecting brain chemistry. According to the study, massage can increase focus and fine motor skills. It can increase alertness or bring on intense relaxation and easier sleep, relieve pain, and even help with tissue repair.
Massage tends elevates the levels of dopamine, a neurohormone released by the hypothalamus. Dopamine influences fine motor activity like painting or playing a musical instrument. It affects intuition, inspiration, joy, and enthusiasm. Those lacking in dopamine will likely exhibit clumsiness, poor focus, and be easily distracted.
Massage can also raise the availability of serotonin, a neurohormone that regulates behavior in terms of emotions, acting to quell irritability and cravings for sex and food. Those low in serotonin often have difficulty sleeping and tend to suffer from depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Research has shown that massage can achieve a number of positive results. For example, a 15 minute seated massage can elevate epinephrine (adrenaline) levels by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. This can increase a person’s alertness. A slower, longer, deeper, and more rhythmic massage can, on the other hand, reduce epinephrine levels, creating a feeling of relaxation, and facilitating deep sleep.
Acupressure and trigger point therapy (applying pressure to tender muscle tissue to relieve pain and dysfunction) are further examples of massage techniques that provide a number of important benefits. These techniques create endorphins, which are compounds known to reduce pain and produce a sense of euphoria. After 15 minutes of massage, endorphins come into play and their “feel good” effects may last up to 48 hours.
Oxytocin is another neurohormone produced by massage therapy. It supports feelings of attachment and can help during pregnancy, birthing, and lactation. Massage therapy has also been shown to reduce levels of Cortisol — the stress related neurohormone produced by the adrenal glands. Finally, by encouraging sleep, massage can increase the availability of growth hormones, which promote cell division and is involved in tissue repair, regeneration, and healing.
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