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How does massage reduce stress?

Sure, massage feels good. But have you wondered why or how?

What happens in our body when we receive a massage? 

How does massage reduce stress?

Naturally, massage therapy targets the source of the body’s pain by eliminating tense muscles, increasing flexibility, and providing relaxation to the affected muscles as well as other tissues and organs. Massage also promotes circulation to the affected or injured muscles, which increases nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues. We experience physical relief—we feel good. These effects also translate to a reduction in stress in other ways.

First of all, there are biochemical aspects. When our bodies are under stress, they produce unhealthy levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, a culprit for weight gain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, and headaches. Cortisol is released from the adrenal gland when the hypothalamus is stimulated. The adrenal gland is located on top of the kidneys and the hypothalamus is part of the brain. Cortisol is also responsible for the "fight or flight" response. Increased cortisol level is known to suppress the immune system as wel