- Dopamine- A neurohormone released by the hypothalamus that influences fine motor skills in activities such as painting or playing a musical instrument. It affects pleasure, intuition, inspiration, and enthusiasm. Also known as the "reward chemical", dopamine levels increase when you have reached a goal or performed acts of kindness towards others.
- Serotonin- A neurohormone that regulates emotions and behavior, mood, hunger, and sleep and promotes a sense of well-being and contentment. Those deficient in serotonin may experience difficulty sleeping and may suffer from depressive and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Exposure to sunshine is one way to increase your serotonin levels.
- Oxytocin- A neurohormone directly linked to human bonding and increasing trust and loyalty among relationships, also known as the "love hormone" produced during sex and breast-feeding. Oxytocin is released during a gentle, swedish relaxation massage treatment.
- Endorphins- Acupressure and trigger point therapy are techniques that create endorphins, neurotransmitters which reduce pain and produce a sense of euphoria. These 'feel-good' effects may last up to 48 hours. Aerobic and anaerobic exercise are forms that release endorphins and aid in reducing the effects of depression.
- Cortisol- A stress-related neurohormone, produced by the adrenal glands, of the parasympathetic nervous system released during times of "fight-or-flight" or stress that aid in your body's response to threat or danger. Massage reduces the levels of cortisol, diminishing the physiological effects of stress, enhancing wound healing, and increasing immunity to viruses.
Roman, Kaia. "The Brain Chemicals That Make You Happy (And How To Trigger Them). Thrive Global. 13 July 2017. https://medium.com/thrive-global/the-brain-chemicals-that-make-you-happy-and-how-to-trigger-them-caa5268eb2c
Michaeli, Dov, MD, PhD. "Massage and Your Brain." The Doctor Weighs In. 16 March 2016. https://thedoctorweighsin.com/massage-and-your-brain/
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