Single Session of Massage Causes Profound Biological Changes

Swedish massage causes profound biological changes

  • A Cedars Sinai Medical Center study on the effects of a single 45-minute session of (deep tissue) Swedish massage (vs. a light touch massage control) found that Swedish massage caused profound biological changes: significant decreases in AVP - decreases in the primary stress hormone cortisol – and an increase in circulating lymphocytes, the white blood cells that defend the body against disease.
    Access this research on Massage
  • Ongoing Weekly Massages Create Cumulative, Positive Biological Changes
    A follow-up study by Cedars Sinai Medical Center on the effect of REPEATED (as opposed to a single session) of Swedish massage (vs. a light touch control), found that 5 weeks of weekly Swedish massage increased circulating lymphocytes (white blood cells that defend the body from disease) and decreased mitogen-stimulated cytokine production. While ongoing twice-weekly massage further decreased stress hormone cortisol and hormone AVP (neuroendocrine stress measures), the results also suggested it may slightly increase pro-inflammatory cytokines. Conclusion: Swedish massage (vs. light touch) creates sustained, cumulative, positive biological changes that last for several days or a week, but they differ significantly based on the frequency of sessions.
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  • A University of Auckland (New Zealand) randomized controlled trial found that massage decreased migraine frequency, improved sleep quality, and induced heart rate and cortisol decreases, for migraine patients.
    Access this research on Massage

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