Most people have an understanding of how a great massage is for your body, health, and overall well-being. But do you know why you feel so relaxed, happy, or sometimes even energized? It’s not all just in your head…or is it? During a massage, you brain will release, or inhibit, different natural chemicals that travel throughout your body. Each of these chemicals, or neurohormones, is responsible for regulating different emotions and behaviors in your everyday life.
For example, if you are having problems sleeping or feeling depressed, your body may be running low on serotonin. Serotonin is the neurohormone responsible for regulating your sleep cycle, and emotions, particularly irritability and anger. Receiving a regular massage can help increase the availability of serotonin in your system, which is why you are more likely to have a better night’s sleep after a massage, and feel overall more relaxed.
Another neurohormone that is released during a massage is dopamine, the “feel good” chemical. Dopamine is responsible for the creative and happy feelings you get. Low levels of dopamine are often linked to clumsiness and a lack of focus throughout the day. A shorter 15 minute or 30 minute massage helps to activate dopamine in your body, which is why you will feel more alert, happy, and creative afterwards.
Massage regulates neurohormones by either stimulating or inhibiting the systems to get the body back to a proper balance. This balance is known as homeostasis. If you are looking to feel more alert and awake, a quick massage would be a good choice. It helps with retention of information and ultimately allows you to be more productive due to an increase in dopamine. However, if you are looking to readjust your sleep schedule or get rid of any stress and tension you are holding, a longer, slower and deeper massage is right for you. Stop in at any of our four Happy Head Massage locations and get a great massage that will help you feel more relaxed and allow for a deeper sleep tonight!