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Massage therapy can be used to reduce stress in the body. There are not enough studies done on massage and a 2013 study concluded "...massage therapy was a safe, effective, applicable and cost-effective intervention in controlling BP (blood pressure)..."
(source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3733180/ retrieved 14 Jan 2022).
The nervous system has 2 parts: one that controls the fight or flight response (sympathetic) and the other that controls rest and relaxation (parasympathetic). Stress is the body's natural response from the sympathetic nervous system. Nowadays, it is rare that people need to run from bears or fight nearby tribes for territory; modern stress is caused by work, family, and the hardships of life. Before, it was easier to switch to the parasympathetic nervous system because the sources of stress were immediate and easier to identify.
The problem is that modern life does not have a "rest and relax switch". Our bodies are always alert when we are on call for work; ready to spring into action when our children need us; or draw attention when the phone dings with a social media notification. The body is always in the fight or flight response pattern (sympathetic) and can't escape. Long term AKA chronic stress leads to anxiety and depression (source: https://www.jscimedcentral.com/Psychiatry/psychiatry-5-1091.pdf retrieved 14 Jan 2022). We really should not need a journal article to prove this point. Short-term stress is normal and natural but long-term it causes physical and mental health problems. Massage can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system so the body can rest from stress (source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19283590/ retrieved 14 Jan 2022). It is the best way to reset the body and the mind.
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