How massage reduces stress
Today we like to explain to you why massage reduces stress. It is very good to receive a massage when you are stressed. To decrease your stress, to become relaxed.
How does massage reduce stress?
When you receive a massage you immediately feel relaxed and the massage reduces stress.
How does that work?
Well, the answer is easy: Massage improves blood circulation. And therefore removes the chemicals in your body that are there when you have stress. Hormones including cortisol and adrenaline.
How does stress work?
Before we explain how massage reduces stress, let’s first take a look at how stress works. When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds immediately by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. These stress hormones awaken the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens and your senses become sharper.
Fight or flight?
These stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline are very good when you need them. It is amazing that in a split second we can release these hormones in our body to become more alert. In the so-called ‘fight or flight’ situation.
This is a moment in which you need to decide quickly if you need to escape (flight) or if you need to take action (fight) in a dangerous situation. It does not have to be so dramatic, your body also releases these hormones in the case you need to be more alert, like for an exam.
There is good stress and bad stress. Good stress is stress that helps you to reach your goal. To help you to save your life for example, as we explained the ‘fight or flight’ situation.
On the other hand, there is bad stress. The bad stress is when you keep these levels of cortisol in your body in your bloodstream for a longer period during the day. Being stressed a couple of hours a day is very harmful to your body.
Stress can make you sick
When your levels of cortisol in your bloodstream are high, so when you are stressed, something else happens in your body. There are two systems in your body that switch off. The immune system. And the digestion system.
Digestion system shuts down
So everything you eat, will not digest properly. You are more prone to having digestion problems. Or gastrointestinal disorders, such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis etc.
The immune system switches off
Not only the digestion system shuts down when you are stressed, so does the immune system. So any type of virus or bacteria that you normally could fight properly with your immune system, will now attack you. You can become sick when you are increasing these levels of cortisol for a longer period of time.
Stress at work?
In example let’s say you work in an office where you feel stressed every day. This means you will not have a high level of cortisol for only a couple of seconds when you are in a dangerous situation.
In a stressful working environment, your levels of cortisol will be high all day during work. Maybe 7 or 8 hours per day. If this happens to you it is very obvious that you can become sick. Many people who are feeling stressed every day will have digestion problems, become sick more often, which can eventually result in burn-out.
How to de-stress?
So you now get the bigger picture. You need cortisol in your body to be alert or when you are in a ‘fight or flight’ situation. However, stress for a longer period is bad for your body. So what do you need to do to when you are stressed, to de-stress? Well, obviously you need to decrease the cortisol in your body.
The best to lower your cortisol level in your body is to improve the blood circulation. You can do that by exercise or massage. Both improve your blood circulation.
Too tired to exercise?
However, many people who are stressed are also tired. They don’t feel like doing exercise. Therefore a massage treatment is a very good option. By massage, you also improve your blood circulation, and it is a passive form of exercise. You don’t have to do much. It is the masseur who is actually doing the sports to you.
How does massage reduce stress?
When receiving an acupressure massage treatment, the acupressure you receive is working on the 12 systems of your body. Also the endocrine system, the hormone system. By receiving a massage, your blood circulation improves.
The blood can filter the cortisol out of your body much quicker than if you did not receive a massage. And In the meantime, your hormones are being balanced due to the acupressure you feel when you get a massage. Your body is releasing instantly what we call happy hormones, like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. And what we call stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are reduced by massage.
Are you stressed?
So do you feel stressed? Or do you know someone who is stressed? Please recommend them a massage, because isn’t it such a pity to become sick just by having too much stress?
Create a stress-free day,
Nicole & Manel
Here are 3 ways we can help you to become stress-free:
1. Book a massage treatment in our school in Amsterdam, Click here
2. Book a Life Balance class, click here
3. Follow the Thai Yoga Massage Program to make others AND yourself stress-free, click here to read more.