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Soothe & Restore: Exploring the Advantages of Massage Therapy

Therapeutic Massages are not just for pampering, they can help heal injuries and improve overall health. Studies show that regular sessions can reduce the buildup of toxins in the muscles and boost your immune system.


A massage may also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms your body’s fight-or-flight response and lowers anxiety levels. Researchers say that massage therapy can also increase sleep and decrease pain in fibromyalgia patients. Contact Massage Tulsa for professional assistance.

Stress is a part of life but too much can have many adverse side effects including muscle tension, digestive issues, fatigue, low libido and headaches. One of the best ways to relieve stress is through massage. The serene environment, soothing music and touch all work together to bring the body into a state of relaxation which helps decrease stress hormones cortisol and serotonin.

During a massage, the muscles and soft tissues relax and elongate which reduces tension and increases the flexibility of those tissues. The increase in flexibility may also improve range of motion and decrease pain due to tightened muscles. Another way massage decreases stress is by lowering the heart rate and releasing feel good hormones called endorphins.

Endorphins are the brain’s natural opiates that help decrease stress and depression by blocking the receptors for the harmful chemicals in the body such as dopamine and serotonin. This also causes the release of oxytocin which is known as the “feel good” molecule. Oxytocin releases feelings of love and compassion which can ease anxiety and feelings of sadness.

Aside from the physical benefits of a massage, it also has emotional and mental benefits. Some people find that receiving a massage is like getting an hourlong hug because it fulfills the need for human contact and comforting touch. The massage also regulates the parasympathetic nervous system which leads to a better quality of sleep and can calm a person’s emotions.

Lastly, massage can relieve stress by stimulating the lymphatic system which increases fluid flow and removes waste from the muscles. When these wastes are removed, it allows the muscles to heal and function properly which reduces stress. Often, people who receive regular massages notice that they are able to handle stressful situations more easily than those who do not.

Reduces Anxiety

Massage has been shown to decrease anxiety and depression in a number of studies. It has also been compared to other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments for anxiety, such as relaxation, visualization, yoga and deep breathing exercises.

Massage stimulates the autonomic nervous system, which encourages the release of positive hormones, including endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters help to reduce stress and feelings of sadness, loneliness and anxiety by acting as natural sedatives.

A massage can be considered an hourlong hug, as it fulfills the need for human contact and comforting touch that many people feel is missing in their lives. It has been compared to a warm embrace, and this sense of closeness can greatly aid in reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

When receiving a massage, oxytocin is released, which is a chemical that gives you a feeling of connection and belonging. This helps to alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are often underlying causes of anxiety and depression. A massage may also increase levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that acts as a motivator and prevents depression and self-doubt.

A recent study found that therapeutic massage significantly reduced anxiety in patients with GAD. Sixty-eight participants with GAD were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: therapeutic massage, thermotherapy or relaxing room therapy and received 10 sessions over the course of 12 weeks. The study found that immediate anxiety ratings were significantly lower after massage and remained lower even after the treatment was over, at a 26-week follow-up period.

In addition to lowering anxiety, massage improves the immune system by stimulating blood flow. This results in a greater number of white blood cells that can combat infection, bacteria and viruses. Having a stronger immune system can help to reduce feelings of tension and anxiety, as well as improving sleep quality.

A massage can also boost the body’s ability to use glucose, which is important for energy and brain function. This can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety by limiting the amount of cortisol that is released. Cortisol is a negative hormone that increases stress and anxiety, and decreases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which naturally calms the body and mind during times of stress.

Increases Endorphins

In addition to reducing stress, massage stimulates the release of feel good hormones known as endorphins. These brain chemicals create a feeling of euphoria and block pain sensations in the body. Endorphins can be triggered by a number of things such as exercise (think runner’s high), dark chocolate, and of course, massage.

The therapist’s touch activates pressure receptors in the skin and soft tissues that send signals to the brain causing the release of these feel good hormones. This in turn decreases the production of stress hormones cortisol, adrenalin, and norepinephrine.

When these hormones are decreased they can improve the overall health of a person and help the immune system work more effectively. Having a healthy immune system means that the body will be able to fight off illnesses and infections.

These hormones also help prevent the “flight or fight” response from taking place. When the body releases these hormones it increases heart rate, blood pressure, and the flow of oxygenated blood to the muscles. This is a great thing if you are running away from a tiger, but not so much when your brain starts to interpret being late for work or fighting with your partner as life threatening.

The increase in endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine produced by a massage can decrease the production of these negative hormones as well as improve a person’s mood. This euphoria caused by these brain chemicals can help reduce anxiety and depression as well as increase self-esteem.

In addition, a massage can increase circulation in the area being worked on. This allows more oxygenated and nutrient rich blood to flow to the area as well as remove waste products from the tissue. This can help speed up recovery from an injury as well as reduce muscle and joint pain.

The euphoria that is generated by these hormones can also help with pre event tension and anxiety. This is because when these positive hormones are increased they can decrease the negative hormones that can cause a person to over react and become stressed prior to an event.

Relieves Pain

Massage manipulates the soft tissue of the body, which in turn relaxes muscles and tendons. It also stimulates nerves to block pain signals from reaching the brain, though every patient experiences a different response to massage.

Pain management is a growing concern in hospital accreditation organizations, and it is important for physicians to incorporate complementary therapies such as massage into their care plans. Studies have shown that massage can improve quality of life for patients with chronic health conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

A study conducted by researchers at the Samueli Institute found that patients in a MS support group who received regular massage reported reduced levels of pain and discomfort, and improved functioning. In addition, participants in this study reported a decrease in the perception of the need for medication to control their pain.

Patients in this study received a variety of types of massage, including Swedish massage, which uses light pressure to soothe muscle and joint tension. Deep-tissue massage is a deeper style of massage that uses slow strokes and friction on the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. This type of massage is often used on athletes who are recovering from injury.

Another type of massage is trigger point therapy, which involves working on tight areas of the body that create referred pain in other parts of the body. This type of massage is used to treat chronic pain caused by muscle overuse and injury.

Massage can also help patients with bowel issues such as constipation. According to Medical News Today, daily massages can increase the number of white blood cells in the colon, which helps fight off infections like bacterial and viral illnesses. This increase in immune function is also thought to reduce stress, which can lead to constipation.