Effects of Massage on Mind and Body

Through stressors in your life, tension builds up in your mind and body. Serious stress slows down your ability to think clearly and impacts your memory. Message has long time been known to relieve muscle tension and improve the function of your brain.

Stress causes your muscles to tighten; knots produce pain or discomfort. Stress is associated with a cortisol hormone that can contribute to weight gain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, and headaches. When you have a massage, your cortisol levels will decrease, and your body can begin to recover.

A massage therapist locates areas of tension and damage in your body, and applies pressure to muscles. The muscles in turn fire up receptors in different parts of the brain. This results in an increased flow of nutrients and oxygen to the damaged areas and sore muscles. The receptors activity in the brain promotes the viability of the endocrine, nervous and immune systems. These are the three main systems that keep your body functioning. Studies have shown regular massages can boost the immune system’s cells that naturally fight disease and infection. Massages enhance the body’s ability to deliver nourishment as well.

Massage relaxes the body and mind. After a massage you might feel like you are on a different wavelength. According to a study at the Touch Research Institute, massage increases delta waves. These brainwaves are linked with deep sleep. That’s why some people fall asleep on the massage table, and have a better night’s sleep at the end of the day.

After a massage people feel so relaxed their cares and stress seem far, far away. During a massage, serotonin is secreted in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. One of its benefits is to promote a sense of contentment and well-being. Another neurotransmitter, dopamine, enables us to see the potential for rewards in our lives, and take action to move toward them. Dopamine helps regulate movement and our emotional responses. Since people with depression often lack motivation, activating dopamine neurotransmitters through massage can be beneficial for that malady.

Massage improves circulation through manipulation of muscles. Increased circulation brings a rich flow of blood to stiff, tense or damaged muscles. If you suffer from tension headaches, massage is an excellent remedy. Tension tightens causes muscles to contract in the neck, face, head, and jaw. Your massage therapist can help release the tension by applying pressure. The more massage sessions you have the greater the long-term benefits to your body, mind and spirit.


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