The Rub Down on Massage
Having your sweetie give you a nice back rub sounds nice, but it's nothing compared to the hands of a pro. Research suggests massage can be beneficial for a multitude of health issues, including insomnia, boosting immunity, preventing PMS, and more. Some hospitals have even made it a standard in therapy. Massage is effective for aches like low-back pain, fibromyalgia, carpel tunnel syndrome, neck and shoulder pain. Several studies show massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol while boosting the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. Changes like these slow your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and block your nervous system's pain receptors. Massage also helps increase blood flow to your muscles, which could in turn help them heal.
Massage increases delta waves, which have been linked to deep sleep; which is why its so easy to drift off when your on the massage table.
Don't worry, be happy!
Less cortisol and more serotonin and dopamine in your system may also mean less stress, anxiety, and depression. The right side of the frontal lobe of the brain is more active when we're sad, and the left side's activated when we're happy. Studies have shown that massage decreases activity in the right lobe and increases functioning in the left.
While massage is a great adjunctive therapy, always consult your physician for any health problems or pain symptoms before beginning your therapy.