Massages may also strengthen the immune system and reduce states of chronic inflammation.
Therapeutic effects on mental and physical health.
Beyond the overall psychological impact on well-being from massage, numerous clinical studies document favorable effects on physical and mental health. For example, neuroimaging and electroencephalographic studies have demonstrated an impact on the composition of brain waves associated with increased relaxation, alertness, and reduced anxiety.
In addition, parasympathetic tone has been shown to increase with manual therapies, exerting a positive effect on blood pressure and the ventilation of the bronchial system. Other studies have shown a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol by reducing activities of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, along with an increase in oxytocin, which is related to pro-social behavior, empathy, and trust.
In summary, massages may have multiple benefits that can positively impact various physical and stress-related psychiatric disorders, including depressive and anxiety disorders, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, Parkinson's disease, and dementia. Favorable effects have also been observed in reducing autistic symptoms in children, musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia, cardiac diseases, and autoimmune diseases such as asthma and multiple sclerosis.
In all these diseases, massages may, therefore, be regarded as adjunctive therapeutic measures that can support and complement the classical medical approach.