The confluence of work stress, rising crime rates, economic instability, social responsibilities, and mental issues have led to many people struggling with some aspect of their personal lives.
These people often resort to counseling and therapy to address their issues.
However, a lot of other people are learning about the therapeutic benefits of massage therapy. Once considered a self-indulgent luxury, research suggests otherwise.
While massage definitely provides people with a relaxing experience, studies show that it has numerous emotional and mental benefits. These benefits are linked with the hormones and neurotransmitters that are released through therapeutic touch during massage therapy.
Here are some medically proven benefits of massage therapy:
The therapeutic touch that’s administered during massage therapy triggers a neurochemical change within the body. According to a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, recipients of massage exhibit an average 31% increase in dopamine production and a 28% average increase in serotonin following a massage.
Serotonin levels are directly responsible for alleviating depression and anxiety symptoms; high levels of the hormone also regulate mood, digestion, and appetite.
Similarly, low levels of dopamine can decrease energy and the ability to focus leading to apathy and depression. Increased production of these neurotransmitters contributes to an increase in feelings of emotional wellbeing.
Pain Relief and Improved Mood
Massage also encourages the release of endorphins. These hormones are natural narcotics, which help in pain relief and boost a person’s mood.
Endorphins are also produced during exercise and by consuming foods such as chocolate. A lot of athletes associate endorphins with the ‘runner’s high’ that comes with the additional release of the neurotransmitters.
Reduction of Social Anxiety and Stress
Massage and other forms of caring touches such as hugs trigger the release of oxytocin. The neurotransmitter is commonly known as the ‘love hormone,’ as it increases the feeling of belonging and enhances our sociability.
Research shows that higher oxytocin levels can help deal with depression, stress, and social anxiety while increasing the feelings of generosity, optimism, and empathy.
Reduction of Cortisol Levels:
When a person is under stress, the body produces a hormone called cortisol. If cortisol levels remain high for long periods, they can cause increased blood pressure and significant weight gain.
Research shows that after receiving a message, people exhibited lower levels of cortisol and higher white blood cell count. White blood cells are directly responsible for a healthy immune system, which prevents countless health issues.
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Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute offers the services of some of the leading doctors and physiotherapists in Toronto. The sports medicine and physiotherapy clinic provides expert diagnoses and several non-surgical treatment options for various debilitating illnesses as well as physical and mental health issues. Our services include massage therapy, shockwave therapy, medical injection therapy, and neck and shoulder pain treatments.
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