Manhattan Health Education School - Swedish Institute - New York, NY

The Science Behind Using Massage for Stress Relief 

Someone receiving a head massage, a great means of stress relief

Everyone knows how helpful a massage is to relieve aches and pains. But what makes massage so great for stress relief in the first place? Check out below as we break down the reasons behind massage being such a great way to feel better in your day-to-day life. 

#1. Triggering the Parasympathetic Nervous System 

The parasympathetic nervous system is a part of your autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system regulates your internal organs and systems, and the parasympathetic system controls the “relaxation response” of your body.  

A massage awakens the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows your body to put your organs into a calmer state and relieves the sympathetic nervous system from working overtime to regulate parts of your body.  

#2. Decreasing Cortisol Levels 

Cortisol is a stress-related hormone related to things like the “fight or flight” response. But too much cortisol can cause too much stress, and massage is a great way to find relief.  

Massage is a great way to relieve pain in the body, which in turn lowers cortisol levels. If you’re coming off of an injury or suffer from frequent muscle pain or fatigue, cortisol might be a main contributor to your stress levels.  

#3. Better Sleep Quality 

Better sleep is a great way to ensure stress relief, and massage can help improve your sleep patterns. If you’re having issues sleeping, a massage can often relax the body and provide greater comfort. Massages cause serotonin to rise, which in turn helps the production of melatonin, the hormone needed to regulate sleep cycles. With these two improved, you’ll sleep better and wake up feeling more relaxed. 

Get a Massage for Stress Relief! 

If you’re interested in getting a massage for stress relief treatment yourself, come to Swedish Institute’s clinic. You can receive a massage from Swedish Institute’s students who are working diligently to improve their skills as licensed massage therapists. If you are thinking about a career in massage therapy, check out our Degree Programs that can be completed in as little as 20 months!