When people say that they are taking a spa day, people are skeptical. But, according to a new study massages lower levels of stress hormones in the body. According to this study, people who have regular massages have substantially lower levels of cortisol and higher levels of white blood cells compared to people who do not get massages regularly.
Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, the chairman of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said, ” […] the findings are very intriguing and exciting, and I’m a skeptic!”
The study consisted of 53 adults. 29 of these adults were given a 45 minute Swedish massage once or twice a week for 5 weeks. The other 24 adults in the study were given light touch massages for the same time period. After the 5 week trial, the adults who had received the Swedish massages had significantly lower levels of cortisol, significantly higher levels of oxytocin, and slightly higher levels of white blood cells than those who had received the light touch massages.
The Mayo Clinic points out that regular massages can help to alleviate stiffness, pain, anxiety, depression, and maintain a regular blood pressure. The health benefits of massages are endless!
For more information on the health benefits of massages go to: http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/cortisol.htm