We all know that massage makes you feel good, and that’s more than enough information for many people to schedule sessions with their masseuse. However, more inquisitive minds often wonder why massage makes us feel better.
One of the primary reasons we end up feeling so great after a massage is due to the way our body releases -and controls- natural chemicals. Today, let’s take a look at the important chemicals your body releases, and those that are controlled, during a massage.
Chemicals Released Through Massage
Getting a massage releases a handful of beneficial mood-improving chemicals. Still, while most people know at least one chemical or another that helps peoples’ moods (which is usually either serotonin or dopamine), they don’t often know what those chemicals actually do for the nervous system.
Serotonin is a type of neurohormone (a hormone that affects the way neurons work) that helps people better control their emotions, especially feelings of annoyance. If you are having a hard time sleeping or have certain psychological issues, the serotonin released during massage may go a long way in helping relieve many of the symptoms from those issues.
Dopamine is another neurohormone that is basically the body’s happy juice. It can make people feel happier for longer as well as bring clarity of thinking, especially when it comes to inspiration and creativity. Those who are having difficulty paying attention, staying on task, or who might be feeling accident-prone can often see many of those problems melt away after a nice, relaxing massage.
Endorphins are chemical compounds that create feelings of euphoria while helping lower pain levels. What’s best of all is that endorphins released from massage can stay present in the client for up to two full days.
More well-known as adrenaline, epinephrine is yet another neurohormone that can be released through shorter massages. This release can actually make massage clients feel more alert and quick with both mental and physical demands. It should be noted that epinephrine is released after shorter massages (about 15-20 minutes), and works well before demanding tasks.
Oxytocin is a neurohormone that releases during a massage and can actually help people feel a better sense of belonging or attachment. Because of the way oxytocin affects emotion, it’s especially helpful to those who might be having certain difficulties bonding with a new child. In fact, oxytocin can even help during every stage of pregnancy all the way up through lactation.
Chemicals Controlled Through Massage
While the chemicals released from massage can work wonders for mood control and other emotional and physical benefits, receiving a massage helps control some negative chemicals as well. The following chemicals can be regulated through massage to great affect.
Cortisol is a neurohormone that is often referred to as the body’s stress chemical. While there are a handful of highly specific benefits to cortisol, if the chemical is produced too much (which is often the case for many people), the drawbacks can be debilitating. This include:
- Memory lapses
- Heart disease
- Digestion issues
- Lack of concentration
Massage can help regulate your body’s cortisol levels, which can, in turn, help lower those issues and keep stress levels down both emotionally and physically.
You may have noticed that epinephrine has been listed in both sections of this article, but studies have shown that longer, deeper massages can actually lower epinephrine levels. This, in turn, can help massage clients achieve better sleep and relaxation.
Contact Modoma Today
When you’re ready to see how massage can help you feel better all around, contact Modoma to with any questions or set up an appointment with us. If this is your first visit, make sure to check out our special introductory massage package.