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The Science Behind Why Massage Chairs Feel So Good

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

Massages have this innate ability to make people feel destressed and relaxed and researchers have proven that even if massage can’t cure diseases it can help reduce pain and make people feel good and is a good natural alternative to surgery or painkiller medicines. Massages are considered holistic treatment that improves both physical and emotional wellbeing.

Massage chairs which closely mimic massages for a fraction of the cost, more accurately and consistently, more hygienically and are available at any time you need them- are quickly becoming a much more common in India across offices (Google, LinkedIn, etc.), hotels (ITC, Hard Rock Hotel, etc.) and homes (about 1/20 American households and 1/5 in Japan and 1/10 in Korea have a massage chair).

Here are some of the scientific reasons why massage chairs feel good to us.

Massages releases Serotonin: During a massage the brain sends neuro transmitter signals to the body and releases Serotonin also known as the happiness chemical. It is believed to help regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. Illicit mood-altering drugs such as Ecstasy and LSD cause a significant rise in serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels are also linked to depression. Drugs used to treat depression, nausea, and migraine usually do so by altering serotonin levels.

Massages also trigger Dopamine, another neurotransmitter/harmone that acts as a messenger between brain cells. Dopamine plays a role in how humans move, what we eat, how we learn and even on the negative side whether we become addicted to drugs. It also is responsible for reinforcement learning and why people tend to get addicted to video games, or anything else they enjoy like chocolates. Lack of Dopamine can cause problems with movement, mood and in old age in correlated to Parkinsons disease.

Massage stimulates vagus nerve: Massage therapy works via stimulation of the vagus nerve which controls many bodily functions from heart rate to digestion, and is highly sensitive to touch. When the vagus nerve is stimulated via skin receptors, heart rate decreases, blood pressure drops, and cortisol production slows down. The body becomes primed for relaxation and sleep, which explains why some people fall asleep (and start snoring) during massages.

Massage reduces Cortisol in the body: Cortisol known as “the stress hormone,” is generated by the body as a response to stress leading to anxiety and fear. Massage reduces cortisol levels and makes you feel calmer. It helps you get to deep sleep, which is why massage chairs are a good recommendation for insomnia. High levels of cortisol are implicated in serious conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Regular massage treatments can keep them under control.

Massage fulfills our basic human need for touch and stimulates release of oxytocin: As infants, we relied on nurturing massages from our moms and grandmoms. Because oxytocin has an immediate and positive effect on mood, it is normal to feel good after massage.

If you have a medical condition or just need to relax, or just want to offer your employees a benefit they will really appreciate vs the TT table a massage is scientifically proven to boost your general wellbeing.



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