If the New York Times says it’s so, then it’s so. Right?! 😉
We came across an article in the New York Times last week about massage that was quite interesting – mostly because it echoed a lot of what we here at Sunlighten know about the health and stress relief benefits of infrared saunas.
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles conducted a study of 53 healthy adults. Twenty-nine of them were given a 45-minute session of deep-tissue Swedish massage; the other 24 received a light massage.
Blood samples were taken immediately before the massage and up to an hour afterward. They found that a single session of massage caused biological changes.
Study participants who received Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol. They also had decreases in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. The study also showed an increase in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system.
Those participants who received light massage experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment, than the other group. They also experienced bigger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.
Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, chairman of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai, said the findings were “very, very intriguing and very, very exciting — and I’m a skeptic.”
Long-term stress is the cause of countless physiological effects on the body, including increased blood pressure, weight gain and weakening of the immune system.
According to best-selling author and fitness expert Jorge Cruise – as well as many other health professionals – the more stressed you are, the more cortisol your body produces. Cortisol is a “fight or flight” hormone made in the adrenal glands that raises heart rate and blood pressure and leads to the deposit of excess calories in the midsection.
Scientific evidence also shows that infrared sauna therapy helps the body maintain healthy levels of cortisol. While cortisol levels stay the same or rise slightly during an infrared sauna therapy session, they drop immediately afterward much like the effect that massage had in the Cedars-Sinai study.
Just another reason a Sunlighten infrared sauna is beneficial to your overall health and wellness!