According to The Huffington Post, a small new study originally published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has shown that regular message can result in decreased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, increases of oxytocin, the trust hormone, along with an improved white blood cell count. The combination can help to ward off all those nasty bugs and viruses that many of us fall victim to – particularly at this time of year.
The 53 participants in the study were split into two groups and 29 had a 45 minute deep tissue Swedish massage once or twice a week for five weeks. The other 24 only had a light touch massage. The findings seemed to show that deep tissue massage can also decrease the levels of the hormone arginine vasopressin which is linked with rises in cortisol.
It was a follow up to an earlier study in 2010 which had not examined the difference that frequency of massage can make to the hormone levels.
Massage has also been shown to help maintain stable blood pressure and decrease anxiety and depression, as well as the usual alleviation of stiffness and pain.