Positive Effects of Massage Therapy on Biochemistry


Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that is Predominantly responsible for regulating our sense of calm. Feelings of contentment, satisfaction and well-being are generated by this neurotransmitter, prompting relaxation and peace.

Dopamine also plays a role in executive function which relates our ability to sustain attention, stay alert, and concentrate on mental tasks. Boosting Dopamine levels can help to improve motivation and excitement for life.

Cortisol is released in response to fear or stress by the adrenal glands as part of the fight-or-flight mechanism which is healthy we need that extra energy to move from threats . It Only Becomes an issue when the stress / fear is ongoing, Cortisol levels build up in the blood, which wreaks havoc on your mind and body.


Luisa Scire Available Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays at Kundalini House
International Journal of Neuroscience
Volume 115, 2005 – Issue 10
Cortisol Decreases / Serotonin and Dopamine Increase Following Massage Therapy.
TIFFANY FIELD, MARIA HERNANDEZ-REIF, MIGUEL DIEGO, SAUL SCHANBERG & CYNTHIA KUHN Pages 1397-1413 | Received 22 Nov 2004, Published online: 07 Jul 2009
Abstract – In this article the positive effects of massage therapy on biochemistry are reviewed including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. The research reviewed includes studies on depression (including sex abuse and eating disorder studies), pain syndrome studies, research on autoimmune conditions (including asthma and chronic fatigue), immune studies (including HIV and breast cancer), and studies on the reduction of stress on the job, the stress of aging, and pregnancy stress. In studies in which cortisol was assayed either in saliva or in urine, significant decreases were noted in cortisol levels (averaging decreases 31%). In studies in which the activating neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) were assayed in urine, an average increase of 28% was noted for serotonin and an average increase of 31% was noted for dopamine. These studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences.