Does Massage Reduce Stress Levels? Benefits of Massage

Medically Reviewed on 5/24/2022
Does Massage Reduce Stress Levels
Massage therapy can be effective in reducing stress, alleviating pain, and easing muscle tension

Massage therapy refers to a broad range of treatments that involve manipulating the muscles and other soft tissues of the body with varying degrees of pressure. 

Studies have shown that when done by an experienced massage therapist, massage can reduce stress levels by easing muscle tension and stimulating the release of feel-good chemicals in the body.

How does massage help reduce stress?

Massage can help ease muscle tension by stretching and alleviating muscle soreness and stiffness. This can promote a sense of relaxation.

Massage also stimulates the release of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which aid in stress reduction. Endorphins are responsible for anxiety relief, serotonin is responsible for uplifting mood, and dopamine is responsible for increasing motivation. By stimulating these positive hormones in the body, massage can therefore lower stress levels and promote a sense of well-being.

What are other benefits of massage?

  • Improves blood circulation: Massage promotes increased blood flow throughout your body, which has benefits on your health, including improved energy levels. 
  • Reduces muscle pain: Massage is very effective for treating and preventing lower back pain and muscle stiffness in other areas. Moreover, a massage can provide relief from the discomfort caused by muscle strains and sprains.
  • Relieves myofascial pain: Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder in which pressure on your muscles creates pain, sometimes in regions that don't seem to be connected to each other (referred pain). Massage may help to alleviate this type of discomfort in the long run.
  • Alleviates joint pain: Arthritis is characterized by swelling and discomfort in the joints. When a massage therapist kneads and stimulates your muscles, blood is drawn to your joints, which provide temporary relief from pain. Make sure to tell your massage therapist that you have arthritis so that they can adjust their treatment accordingly. Talk to your doctor about whether a massage can help with your condition.
  • Eliminates toxins: Stimulating the soft tissues of your body aids in the removal of toxins through your blood and lymph systems.

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Medically Reviewed on 5/24/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Image

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5564319/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9872050/