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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 well. Massage therapy works to flush out the cortisol from the blood flow, enabling the body to recover.

As it reduces cortisol, massage therapy also increases endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine— so-called “well-being” hormones. These hormones are neurotransmitters released by stimulation of the autonomic system. These hormones assist our bodies physically as well as emotionally.

  • Endorphins are responsible for reducing anxiety and pain

  • Serotonin prevents depression and regulates appetite, digestion, sleep & memory

  • Dopamine increases motivation and improves heart rate, attention, & kidney function

Therefore, massage promotes healing and pain management, as it helps calm the nerves. In some, they even create feelings of euphoria.

Remember we are here to help you find your perfect massage therapy chair so you can experience daily healing in the comfort of your own home. Come and visit us today.


“7 Benefits of Massage Therapy.” Body and Mind Therapeutic Massage, 12 Oct. 2016,