Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Some Benefits of Massage You May Not Know

You do not need anyone to tell you that a massage from a spa in Boston can make you feel good. But you may not know that it has several health benefits as well. For example, you know that sore muscles can be relieved from a massage, but do you know why? Part of the reason is because massage reduces inflammation, which in turn promotes recovery and eases soreness. Another reason is the reduction of the hormone cortisol. 

What Is Cortisol?
Cortisol is a hormone that is secreted from your adrenal glands. Normally, this hormone is helpful in regulating glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and insulin levels, as well as assisting with your immune function and inflammatory response. Cortisol is nicknamed the “stress hormone,” however, as it is also released during stressful situations. As a result, the cortisol can cause several stress-related responses that can often be positive, such as boosting the immune system, lowering sensitivity to pain, giving a burst of energy, heightening memory, and maintaining homeostasis within the body. Too much stress, however, can result in levels of cortisol that are too high within the bloodstream.

Negative Effects
After your body goes through a stressful experience, it needs to enter a state of relaxation in order to return to its normal state. If the body does not enter relaxation, it will instead enter a state of chronic stress. With chronic stress comes the risk of impaired cognitive performance, blood sugar imbalances, thyroid suppression, decrease in bone density and muscle tissue, and high blood pressure. You may also experience low immune and inflammatory responses, which can cause slower healing times and a higher risk of illness. Chronic stress tends to also cause an increase in body fat, which can then put you at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and high cholesterol.

More Benefits of Massage
By decreasing levels of cortisol within the body, massage can also help soothe symptoms of depression and anxiety. Massage can also help alleviate some anxiety and depression symptoms by causing the body to instead release the hormones serotonin and dopamine, two mood-boosting hormones that are commonly used in the treatment of depression. If you are still looking for more reasons to visit a spa in Boston, massages have also been shown to help with reducing migraine and PMS symptoms, relieving back pain and stiffness, assisting with better sleep, and increasing blood flow.

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