Here’s another excuse to get a massage (if you needed one). Swedish massages can lower your stress and slightly alter your immune system for the better according to a small research study.
The researchers, from Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, a Los Angeles-based medical centre, found that the Swedish massages reduced arginine vasopressin, a hormone that causes the stress hormone cortisol to increase. The massages also reduced levels of cortisol itself in the body.
Study participants also saw their cytokines â€” proteins released by stimulated white blood cells when danger is present â€” decrease, indicating the body did not see itself as under attack during the massage.