Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Message Away Depression and Anxiety

Therapeutic massage was developed in China about 2,500 years ago. Using their arms, hands, fingertips and elbows, massage therapists use pressure to help treat physical and emotional problems. Even in 400 B.C. Hippocrates used massage to treat sprains. Today, many cultures have developed their own versions. Recently, researchers from the University of Miami Studied thirty seven women who suffered from breast cancer. They found that those who received massage therapy or did progressive muscle relaxation for five weeks reported feeling less depressed and angry, and they had more energy. In another study at the University of South Florida, high blood pressure patients, who received ten minute massages three times a week for three weeks, lowered their points by eleven. Study reviews by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine concluded that massage relieves depression ad anxiety by affecting the body's biochemistry. Measuring the stress hormone cortisol before and after massage found that levels were lowered by up to fifty three percent. They've also found that massage increases serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.

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