Releasing Your Cuddle Hormone With Massage
If people would just get massages more, they would be so much more chill. Now, it’s not in my nature to be relaxed and positive. I was always scowling growing up, so the people around me started calling me “Little Thundercloud”. I worried over everything and was a regular prophet of doom and gloom. I learned to bend a little as I grew up, but nobody would really mistake me for Little Mary Sunshine.
When I got older, I learned that such things as massage and meditation would allow me to be more relaxed. Being naturally skittish, massage didn’t appeal to me. I was also incredibly ticklish, so the few foot massages I tried weren’t exactly relaxing for me, or for the masseuse either. However, after I started experiencing the strains of adulthood, I realized that there had to be some way for me to deal with all the stress. I tried massage again, and I definitely appreciated it so much better.
When I ventured into motherhood, I experienced a level of exhaustion I didn’t know was possible. Around this time, massage became more of a much needed respite and therapy for me to deal with the demands of childcare better. True enough, I came out of each session like a new person. I felt relaxed, restored, and in a much better mood. How is it that a period of having your muscles kneaded turns you into happier being?
Herein enters the phenomenon of oxytocin or the “cuddle hormone”. Everybody loves a good cuddle, right? Nothing makes you feel quite as good as a cuddling session with people you love, especially if they’re extra soft and huggable. Apparently, oxytocin is released during a massage session. It works to decrease levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress and anxiety. Not only is oxytocin released in the person receiving massage but also in the therapist, which explains why massage therapists typically manifest lower stress and blood pressure. This bit of finding should make some people reconsider their careers and enroll at the School of Natural Therapies to learn massage.
The wonder hormone that is oxytocin is also said to ease symptoms of shyness and increase confidence, which definitely makes for healthier social behavior in people. In a study, human subjects who were given oxytocin through a nasal spray displayed a higher level of trust, making some of them less leery of strangers and others more empathetic and generous with money. Oxytocin is also an often unacknowledged ingredient in loving social interactions. It is present and actively at play in your system as you bond with your loved ones.
Knowing that you have this cuddle hormone in you, wouldn’t you want to release it regularly to make sure that you don’t only feel happier, but relate better to the people around you as well?
This post is sponsored by the School of Natural Therapies.