It’s estimated that stress costs the US $180 billion annually in additional healthcare spending.1. That’s 10 zeros. Let that sink in, but try not to let it stress you out. We don’t want to add to that number.
Being “always on” makes us feel off
It goes without saying that stress is everywhere in today’s fast-paced world. Emails, texts, social media, 24-hour news, they all keep us “connected” but also make it nearly impossible to unplug and unwind. And that can negatively impact your health and well-being.
The good news is that massage has been shown to significantly reduce both physical and psychological levels of stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.2
The simple (and delightful) way to lower stress
News flash: getting a massage is relaxing. Okay, you already knew that. But seriously, one of the byproducts of excessive stress is a tightening of the muscles and an overall feeling of tension. The relaxing sensation of massage on sore, tense muscles alone is hugely positive.
On a more scientific level, massage has been shown to decrease levels of the hormone, cortisol. When the body is tense and under stress, it produces unhealthy levels of cortisol which have been linked to weight gain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, and headaches. By reducing cortisol levels, massage helps the body enter recovery mode. In controlled studies, measurements of oxygen consumption, blood pressure, and salivary cortisol levels were all lower after just a 10 to 15-minute massage!3
Out with the bad, in with the good
Not only can massage help control cortisol levels, it’s also been shown to release endorphins, that boost dopamine and serotonin levels in the body. Dopamine is a chemical naturally produced by the body that helps to keep the central nervous system functioning smoothly. Serotonin is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is involved in the function of several different organ systems in the body. Dopamine and serotonin assist the body in many ways—both physically and emotionally. They promote healing, pain management, help to calm the nerves, and even create feelings of euphoria. In short, dopamine and serotonin help you feel good.
So, the next time you are feeling stressed, put down your phone, take a deep breath, and head to the closest Brio massage chair.