Massage, Massage, I need a Massage! The holidays are over, and we’re almost settled back into our normal routines but, “A massage?”, we just don’t have time for such luxury. We then ask ourselves, “Why the racing of the mind? Why the anxiousness? Or, Why the blues?” Well, medically speaking the answer to the questions is a hormone called Cortisol and a chemical called Serotonin. Cortisol controls our immune system, blood sugar, blood pressure, assists with our memory and regulates our metabolism. Serotonin not only controls depression and moods, but it also assists in regulating the gastrointestinal tract (digestion), bone density and breast milk production.
But, what happens when stress, anxiety and depression steps in? It means that Cortisol has increased in our system causing a danger towards our health, which can lead to hypertension, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), insulin resistance and diabetes. This causes Serotonin to decrease causing mood swings, depression, loss of appetite, fatigue and so on. So, what can massage do to prevent this? Massage creates a balance that helps to fight off the stress, anxiety and depression and a 60-minute session once a month will cause your Cortisol to drop by 31% and your Serotonin to rise by 28% (Tiffany Field, 2005)* creating balance. When balanced it will help with clarity, which helps with focusing and will also allow you to begin to feel calm, motivated and self-confident. A word from the wise: My Grandmother’s advice to me when I gave birth to my daughter, “Inger, Life in general can place us on overload and if we don’t take out time to care for ourselves how can we care for the ones we love.”
*Cortisol to drop by 31% and your Serotonin to rise by 28% CORTISOL DECREASES AND SEROTONIN AND DOPAMINE INCREASE FOLLOWING MASSAGE THERAPY- TIFFANY FIELD, MARIA HERNANDEZ-REIF, MIGUEL DIEGO, SAUL SCHANBERG & CYNTHIA KUHN, International Journal of Neuroscience Vol. 115, Iss. 10, 2005
*This article courtesy of Inger Purifory, Licensed Massage Therapist