Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy.

Published

Journal Article

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 auto-immune 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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Field, T; Hernandez-Reif, M; Diego, M; Schanberg, S; Kuhn, C

Published Date

  • October 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 115 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1397 - 1413

PubMed ID

  • 16162447

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16162447

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1563-5279

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0020-7454

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/00207450590956459

Language

  • eng