Hormones – 6 ways massage can keep you calm

Hormones can be a wonderful thing and a terror. On one hand they signify the arrival of a new phase in life, where the body transitions into something new, and on the other hand the screaming, crying, throwing things part can be a bit terrifying.

I now pity my mother who went through menopause with three teenage daughters and a small child. We threw insults and hairbrushes with equal abandon. There were lots of shouty conversations, slammed doors and tears.

Moodiness and hormones are associated with pregnancy and menopause, but these are  not only restricted to the female of the species. Men express their anger physically, verbally and can also withdraw, internalise feelings and suppress emotions. What can happen when emotional stress is not released is that it resides in the body, manifesting as pain or illness. This not only impacts the individual but has a knock-on effect to family and friends.

We don’t want negative or stressful emotions to get trapped  – getting it out in some way or another is the best thing you can do. You can choose to paint, write, journal, potter in the garden, do some lounge room dancing, exercise, go for a walk on the beach, belt out ballads to the radio in the car, or get a massage.

These are the some of the hormones released by massage and this is why you want them:

  1. Dopamine – increased levels of this baby make you feel good and bouncy and want to dance. For me, but for you they make you feel calm, happy and sublime.
  2. Serotonin – balances the mood, assists with sleep and is helpful for depression.
  3. Endorphins – these guys reduce your pain receptors, so are helpful if you are experiencing inflammation or get headaches.
  4. Dopamine – this calms the nervous system and encourages joy and enthusiasm. I get this also when I buy shoes. Woo hoo!
  5. Oxytocin – helps with tissue repair and healing and also assists with sleep.
  6. Cortisol – we want this one to back right off, massage helps with that, Cortisol is a stress hormone, so the less of this the better.

If you have a shouty teenager in your life, a moody partner or even a headachy or pregnant friend, massage is always a good place to start. It will release a bunch of calming hormones which will assist with balancing mood, enhancing sleep and calm the farm in general.

Rachel Wilkinson is a massage therapist, a counsellor and a reiki practitioner. She operates from Step into Health, 1/69 Secam St, Mansfield Park, Brisbane. She sometimes gets shouty, moody and withdrawn and takes herself off for a massage. Her website is https://www.rachelwilkinson.com.au/ Email for appointments on info@rachelwilkinson.com.au

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