Five ways massage improves your health and well-being
Some of the many benefits of massage therapy
The pluses to receiving regular massage therapy – beyond a sense of relaxation and well-being – are more than you might imagine.
The person credited with scientifically proving “the healing potential of touch,” according to More Magazine was Tiffany Field, Ph.D., who established the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Within her 450 journal articles and 20 books, Field shared evidence about the benefits of massage, including:
- Lowering of blood pressure and heart rate.
- Mental acuity. Math problems presented to people post-massage were completed “twice as fast with half the errors.”
- More time spent in deep, restorative sleep. Better sleep reduces Substance P, “a neurotransmitter closely associated with pain,” such as the overall muscle throbbing experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers.
- Lower cortisol levels. Known as a stress-response hormone, cortisol can impact how a person perceives pain. As Cortisol decreases, levels os serotonin – a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that fights pain – increase. An analysis of massage research showed that, after a treatment, cortisol decreased by an average of 31 percent, while serotonin increased by 28 percent.
- Increased immune system defenses. Studies of breast cancer patients revealed that “when cortisol levels are up, natural killer cells (NK) are down.” NK cells “kill cancer, viral and bacterial cells.” In one study, women with breast cancer were given half-hour massages three times per week for five weeks. The women ended with “lower depression…and increased levels of serotonin, NK cells and lymphocytes (another immunity cell).”
Contact us for more information about the benefits of massage and for explanations of the various types of massage. Be Well Bodyworks’ team of expert practitioners provide deep tissue, medical, shiatsu oriental, neuromuscular, sports, Swedish, craniasacral and prenatal massage, and we work with you to create a massage experience that fits your unique needs.