The Health Benefits of Massage

30 Jan
health-benefits-of-massageMany patients prefer some soft tissue treatment in conjunction with their chiropractic adjustments. They find that massage eases away their stress as well as helping with the adjustment. Now Swedish researchers have found that the overall health benefits may extend to blood pressure, respiration and heart rate.

Participants in the study received touch massage on their hands and feet, which consisted of stroking movements on both sides of the hands and feet along with circular movements on each finger and toe. Touch massage was performed for 80 minutes in the following order: 20 minutes each on the left hand, the right hand, the right foot, and the left foot. Participants in the control group (who obviously drew the short straw) rested in the same setting.

After 5 minutes of touch massage there was a significant decrease in heart rate lasting for 65 minutes, indicating reduced stress response. The findings from this study suggest that touch massage reduces the heart rate by decreasing sympathetic nervous activity and evoking a compensatory decreased parasympathetic nervous activity in order to maintain autonomic balance. Or, to put it another way, the findings suggest that after receiving touch massage the participants experienced a biological relaxation response – stress is reduced . But then, if you’re a regular massage recipient, you already knew that, didn’t you?

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