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How Massage Reduces Stress

Suffering from headaches and stress in general? Instead of taking anti-stress medication or seeing a doctor who will definitely prescribe mefenamic acid, aspirin, or other similar medicines, you should consider taking alternative treatment first in the form of a massage. Massage therapy can reduce stress and make you feel relaxed and comfortable without having to resort to expensive MRI tests, X-rays, or medicine.

The Benefits of Massage Due To Reduced Stress

When you think of massage, the keyword is always “relaxation.” A massage helps to relax the muscles and reduces tension and tightness. In effect, this can improve the range of motion in your joints, promote better blood circulation, and of course, reduce stress in general. It is very important to reduce stress in our daily lives because it is one of the most deadly silent killers all over the world. Stress itself may not kill you, but when you consider the fact that it promotes the development of several types of chronic diseases, then you get the full picture. Therefore, it is always a good idea to find the right massage therapist who can help you reduce your stress levels.

Generally, a massage therapy can help to reduce not only stress, but also alleviate symptoms of anxiety and even depression. Getting a relaxing massage can take your mind off of your troubles allowing both the mind and the body to relax. A massage is often delivered in a quiet, dimly lit room with relaxing music. This helps to facilitate relaxation and makes the patient feel at ease.

As far as physical benefits are concerned, a massage reduces the tightness in your muscles, which are often caused by stress. Chronic joint paint can be alleviated by removing the tension from the muscles. Techniques used include rubbing, stretching, stroking and applying pressure to the muscles to be relaxed.

Finally, massage has also been known to yield immune system and digestive benefits. This can also be traced to the damaging effects of stress and how massage can alleviate stress. When in a state of stress, the body is put into emergency mode and the digestive and immune functions can be suppressed. Prolonged exposure to high amounts of stress can therefore affect the normal functions of the immune and digestive systems. Aside from reducing stress, massage can help restore normal circulation and induce normal immune system function.

Is This Scientifically Proven?

The answer is a definitive “yes.” Therefore, if you are a contemporary individual who believes in the value of proven therapy over those that rely mainly on the Placebo effect (you think it’s making you feel better, therefore, your body responds positively), then massage therapy is the way for you.

It has been observed in a research conducted by the Umea University in Sweden that measured blood pressure, glucose, and insulin levels before and after a massage called “tactile massage” that it can reduce anxiety in patients who have undergone major surgery. Furthermore, it reduces stress in healthy individuals. Over-all, the recipients reported feeling more relaxed and better after a massage. A decrease in blood pressure was also noted by Lenita Lindgren, the person behind the research.

Just like any other scientific study, this experiment needed uniformity in the administration of the treatment. Therefore,  the masseurs who performed the tactile massage were trained and instructed to exert 2.5 newtons of force and moving at 1.5 centimeters per second.

It was found during this research that skin contact is very important when performing the massage. When the masseur wore gloves, the treatment was less effective.

Tests performed with an MRI scan showed that the massage activated a region of the brain called pregenual anterior cingulated cortext. This part of the brain has been associated with feelings of happiness and enjoyment.