As a Physio I spend a fair bit of my day massaging clients to reduce pain and muscular tightness thus improving muscular balance. Massage is a key component I use on a daily basis as a Physiotherapist. What many people are not aware of is that there are also positive effects of massage on biochemistry, including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine.
Now lets take a step back into biochemistry and how these hormones work within your body:
Cortisol is a primary stress hormone the body produces in response to trauma and many other functions in our body.
Serotonin affects every part of your body from your emotions to your motor skills and is a chemical our cells produce.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that initiates adrenalin during the start of the stress response.
Studies and data
Studies in which cortisol were analysed either in saliva or urine; after receiving manual treatment a significant decrease were noted in cortisol levels (averaging decreases 31%). Studies in which the activating neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (our feel-good hormones) were assessed in urine, an average increase of 28% was noted for serotonin and an average increase of 31% were noted for dopamine. These studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences.
Benefits of a frequent massage?
Now, you may be wondering how often you should have a massage to notice an improvement? If you are anything like me, I want to know the minimum effective dose so I can pack the most I can into my schedule. Personally I endeavour to get a massage once a fortnight for muscle soreness from exercising and my overall wellbeing. Once a month can be a good starting point and from there you can judge for yourself how often you require therapeutic attention.
You should never underestimate the power of taking even an hour for yourself to breath, rest, and recharge. If we recharged our mind and body as much as we recharged our phones life would feel a little less complicated…don’t you think?
Private health rebates on massage
Did you know Physio is one of the MAIN 3 private health benefits? This means you’re out of pocket expense for a massage is partially covered. Why not take advantage of this and book an appointment TODAY for some remedial massage relief.