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When receiving a massage, a caring and safe touch encourages relaxation. Combined with pain relief, this usually results in a “relaxation response.”

Your heart and breathing rate slows down, as does your blood pressure and stress hormone production. Your muscles also relax during the relaxation response. Relatively high levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood and thought, appear to be associated with the relaxation response. More studies are needed to confirm the link between massage and serotonin levels in the brain, even though this information is promising

It is possible that the relaxation response can reduce the physical effects of stress and reduce the risks associated with stress-related conditions like hypertension, anxiety, insomnia, cardiac arrhythmias and persistent fatigue, digestive disorders, and sexual dysfunction—to name a few.