Science has spoken: beat stress with massage
~ Posted by: Alison Rowley
A study carried out by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles has revealed that a single session of massage can lead to immediate and significant chemical changes in the blood and brain. The research, published in The Journal of Alternative and Contemporary Medicine, involved 53 adults who were fitted with intravenous catheters. The blood of the volunteers was tested before, during and up to an hour after they received deep Swedish or light massages, with hormone and neurotransmitter levels recorded.
29 of the participants were given a 45 minute Swedish massage treatment and results showed a small drop in the level of cortisol (a stress hormone) in their blood, as well as large decreases in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that increases cortisol production. The remaining 24 subjects were given a light massage, and they experienced a rise in the level of oxytocin (a neurotransmitter that promotes a feeling of contentment) that was actually greater than that measured in the Swedish massage group.