While massage has been practiced for thousands of years, medical science and research really woke up to the benefits beginning in the 1990s. As more studies about substance abuse have emerged, it is clear from the findings that massage can have significant and lasting benefits for the body. Those benefits extended well beyond simple relief from aches and pains to dramatic positive effects on mental state and positive attitude. It was only a matter of time before massage became a tool for helping alleviate symptoms arising from depression. Recently, massage has begun to appear as a regular beneficial treatment for those who suffer from addictions.
Hormonal ups and downs can wreak havoc on your life. They can affect your mood, your weight, your food cravings, even your desire for sex. For many women, hormones balance normally and it’s smooth sailing–but for others, any imbalance can be a train wreck.
Enter massage therapy. Among the many benefits of massage therapy are those related to the body’s production and regulation of neurohormones. Neurohormones are produced by the nervous system and affect an individual’s behavior and general well-being. Recent studies have solidly concluded that massage can help balance mood levels by moving your body toward homeostasis (a naturally balanced state). And the story’s even better! Research conducted at the TOUCH Research Institute at the University of Miami suggests that massage increases the availability of all neurohormones affecting brain chemistry.
Massage tends to elevate the levels of dopamine, a neurohormone released by the hypothalamus gland. Dopamine influences fine motor activity like painting, playing a musical instrument or navigating with a mouse. It affects intuition, inspiration, joy, and enthusiasm. If your dopamine fall, you will likely exhibit clumsiness, poor focus, and be easily distracted.
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