The Science of Massages

The Science of Massages

After a tough day at the job or a vigorous run, a massage is just what the doctor ordered. It helps muscles recover and reduces lingering pains. Athletes say that it keeps muscles from getting tight, eases inflammation, and improves the flow of blood, but not many people are aware of how it works, experts included. So let’s investigate some of the science behind the massage.

The Relaxation Response

Part of the good of the massage is involuntary, and it all starts with a touch. A gentle, caring touch signals the relaxation response in your body. The relaxation response refers to the state in which your breathing and heart rate slow down, your blood pressure declines, you stop producing stress hormones, and your muscles release tension. The response also increases levels of serotonin, the hormone responsible for regulating mood.

Essentially, the relaxation response is the complete opposite of being stressed out. It’s easier to elicit the response when you have...
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