An American study, involving some fifty subjects, brought some amazing results to light. For research purposes, a number of the participants were given a firm massage while their counterparts received a more gentle massage. Immediately prior to and after the sessions, all participants gave a blood sample. The outcome was overwhelming: participants’ blood composition had clearly changed.
Researchers found that cortisol levels, i.e. the hormone our bodies secrete when we are exposed to stress, had dropped markedly in the group who had received a firm massage. Their immune system had also been boosted and people appeared to be less aggressive.
The changes in the blood samples from people who had been given a more gentle massage were also striking. For one, they highlighted that the levels of oxytocin, the hormone that gives us a sense of security, had increased. The more oxytocin we have in our blood, the better we are able to cope with stress. What’s more, as a result of a drop in corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) levels, people’s cortisol levels had also decreased.
Conclusion: a heavenly massage reduces stress levels. This also means that you are less likely to contract any stress-related illnesses and ailments. You will feel a lot calmer and, hence, happier. In sum: massages are beneficial to both body and mind!