We all have stress in our daily lives associated with our jobs, family life, the environment and society. Stress is actually a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When working properly, stress helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert and during emergencies, controls our ‘fight or flight’ response. But too much stress can be hurtful to our bodies and can negatively impact every one of the body’s processes.
According to a study published by the International Journal of Neuroscience, therapeutic massage was shown to decrease the levels of the stress hormone cortisol by an average of 31%. At the same time, the desirable neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine increased on an average of 28% and 31% respectively. These beneficial changes held across studies focusing on diverse groups of participants — including healthy individuals, people suffering from job and other emotional stress, and people suffering from specific autoimmune disorders, pain syndromes, depression, breast cancer, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS.