Massage and your hormones
Hormones are a regulatory substance that can change our emotions and feelings. They can change because of simple things like the amount of sleep we get or what we eat. They also change during certain stages in our lives like pregnancy or starting a new job. Situations like these bring unwanted hormones that can cause stress. The use of massage can help stimulate certain hormones in our bodies to create an overall feeling of well-being.
Massage can have an effect on our hormones in many different ways to make our bodies feel better. Massage can help to reduce stress as well as trigger happiness and contentment. According to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, research shows that a good massage can do more than just relax your muscles. They can induce biological changes that can reduce stress.
While massage wards off stress with ease, it can also have a way of boosting our ‘feel good’ hormones. Serotonin and dopamine have been linked with feeling of happiness and well-being as well as heightened sensitivity. According to the International Journal of Neuroscience, research has shown that the levels of serotonin and dopamine are higher after having a massage. On average, an increase of 28% was noted for serotonin and an average increase of 31% was noted for dopamine after the participants in the research received a massage.
Reducing stress and boosting our happiness is only a few things that massage can do for your well-being. Massage has been known to release endorphins, which are natural pain-killers throughout your body. Also, research has shown that massage can increase oxytocin which is a hormone often referred to as the “love hormone” because it is associated with maternal behavior, feelings of trust and contentment, and pair bonding.
If that is not enough, research sponsored by the National Center for Contemporary and Alternative Medicine showed that massage can also boost your immune system by increasing white blood cells. White blood cells play a vital role in defending the body against infectious disease as well as foreign materials.
All the positive hormonal activity described above is particularly great when you are dealing with a postpartum body coupled with the effects of sleep deprivation! Massage is an incredible healer for new moms, restoring hormonal balance and re energizing mom.
Anice Lombard, Massage Mama. Mama of 2 and Massage Therapist