Why do massages feel so good?
According to science, it’s all to do with the pressure that reduces the level of stress hormone cortisol and increases happy hormones serotonin and dopamine.
Dr Tara Swart, a neuroscientist, leadership coach, award-winning author and medical doctor explains how…
How can massage decrease stress hormone cortisol?
Studies differ as to whether massage decreases cortisol production, but it does help to relieve stress (which correlates with cortisol) and relax you. This is because in a relaxed state (parasympathetic activity in the autonomic nervous system) the heart rate slows and the breathing becomes more regulated.
Massage and immersion in warm water is also thought to encourage the release of oxytocin – the bonding hormone – which makes us feel warmer, more trusting and connected, which counter-balances the effects of cortisol.
What are the dangers of cortisol?
Cortisol is an important hormone that we release in response to stress, however high levels of cortisol over a longer period of time can cause health problems such as sleep disturbance, indigestion, weight gain around the middle, irritability and inhibited immunity, meaning more frequent periods of illness.
Is it true that increased serotonin levels convert to melatonin, which also helps us to sleep better and even boosts memory?
Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us get to sleep. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland during darkness, which is why it is important to avoid too much blue light (emitted by screens e.g. phone, TV) before bed.
Londoner’s live fast paced lives, where can we go to find some calm in the chaos?
I enjoy vistas and being in nature so Waterloo bridge and Hampstead Heath are grounding places for me when I need perspective or reflective time.
ESPA Life at Corinthia is a wonderful place to get away from it all and spend some mindful time recharging. I love the sleep pods and I’ve always said that every office should have one!