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Massage isn’t just for pampering, it’s good healthcare!

Massage isn’t just for pampering, it’s good healthcare!

Massages used to be associated with pampering. A decadent treat reserved for reward or giving a gift to others. But the actual health benefits of massage are real and recent research keeps showing more and more reasons why you should ‘pamper’ yourself more often!

While your shopping for those you love and allocating a large amount of time, energy, and money to making sure everyone else feels appreciated this holiday season, go ahead and “treat” yourself to a massage.

Here’s why: massage has been proven to reduce cortisol levels and increase oxytocin as well as white blood cell counts!

As you may or may not know, cortisol (or hydrocortisone) regulates many things in the body and can play a major role in overall immune health. It is most commonly referred to as the ‘stress hormone’ because it is released into the bloodstream during the ‘fight or flight’ response.

In today’s highly stressful world, we are constantly pushing ourselves to do more and faster. Leaving us in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’. But elevated levels of cortisol in your system for a prolonged amount of time can lead to adrenal exhaustion, weight gain, and a number of other health problems.

Now, here’s the good news! A recent study published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, shows that indulging in a massage is linked with decreased levelsof the stress hormone cortisol and amped-up levels of a vital player in the body’s immune system, white blood cells.

The findings are “very, very intriguing and very, very exciting — and I’m a skeptic,” study researcher Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, the chairman of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, told the the New York Times .

The study included 29 adults who had a 45-minute Swedish massage either once or twice a week for a five-week period. The results; study participants experienced decreases in cortisol levels, increased oxytocin levels (also known as the “trust hormone”), and slightly elevated white blood cell counts.

So while you might be stressing out about the upcoming holidays, deadlines, chores, errands, or family obligations, you can go ahead and schedule yourself a massage guilt free! It’s not just pampering, it’s healthcare!


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