Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy

Tiffany M Field, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Miguel A Diego, Saul Schanberg, Cynthia Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

199 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article the positive effects of massage therapy on biochemistry are reviewed including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. The research reviewed includes studies on depression (including sex abuse and eating disorder studies), pain syndrome studies, research on autoimmune conditions (including asthma and chronic fatigue), immune studies (including HIV and breast cancer), and studies on the reduction of stress on the job, the stress of aging, and pregnancy stress. In studies in which cortisol was assayed either in saliva or in urine, significant decreases were noted in cortisol levels (averaging decreases 31%). In studies in which the activating neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) were assayed in urine, an average increase of 28% was noted for serotonin and an average increase of 31% was noted for dopamine. These studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1413
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Volume115
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

Fingerprint

Massage
Hydrocortisone
Dopamine
Serotonin
Physiological Sexual Dysfunctions
Urine
Saliva
Research
Biochemistry
Fatigue
Neurotransmitter Agents
Asthma
HIV
Depression
Breast Neoplasms
Pain
Pregnancy

Keywords

  • Cortisol
  • Dopamine
  • Massage therapy
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. / Field, Tiffany M; Hernandez-Reif, Maria; Diego, Miguel A; Schanberg, Saul; Kuhn, Cynthia.

In: International Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 115, No. 10, 01.10.2005, p. 1397-1413.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Field, Tiffany M ; Hernandez-Reif, Maria ; Diego, Miguel A ; Schanberg, Saul ; Kuhn, Cynthia. / Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. In: International Journal of Neuroscience. 2005 ; Vol. 115, No. 10. pp. 1397-1413.
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