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Massage Therapy & Stress Relief

Posted Sep 27 2010 3:04pm

Living in a city like New York is often an exercise in what it means to be stressed. From the insanity of the crowded sidewalks and subways to the business people who eat, drink, and sleep their work, NYC is a vortex of stress and there are entire companies dedicated to just stress relief. We’ve always felt that massages would ease the stress, but as it turns out, science has noted that it causes actual, physical changes that might just help you feel a little less nuts and a little more calm.

As seen in this recent New York Times article , there is evidence that massage really can be a valuable factor in stress relief. Researchers tested a group of 53 healthy adults, 29 of which were randomly assigned Swedish massage and the 24 others assigned light massage.

The results were not unexpected. Lower levels of cortisol and arginine vasopressin, two hormones known to be associated with stress, as measured in the blood and saliva, were recorded after just a single session. Researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (in LA) also showed increases in their lymphocyte white blood cell count which is part of the immune system and in the hormone oxytocin, a contentment hormone.

So does a massage really reduce stress? The research appears to indicate so, and anyone who has had a nice massage could certainly attest to it. But what you may not know is that most insurances will cover massages with just a small copayment. In fact, you plan may cover from 30-40 massage treatments per year! You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a nice Swedish massage at a spa. Living Well Medical in SoHo has massage therapy services right here in NYC. Call us today at 212-645-8151 and see if your physical therapy benefit covers massage. After all, we’re all New Yorkers - we could use a little less stress in our lives.

- Dr. Shoshany, NYC Chiropractor

(If you need a San Francisco chiropractor , visit my friend, Dr. Eben Davis , at Executive Express Chiropractic)
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