Research on massages has shown that massages increase the production of oxytocin, which is a naturally secreted hormone in the body that supports optimal levels of physical health. This hormone is produced by love, kindness, empathy, and togetherness. Research has shown that without loving relationships, even though all other basic needs are being met, human beings cannot thrive.
Massages increase oxytocin avoiding depression and anxiety.
In this article, we’ll talk about the science behind a daily oil massage and the science behind the love and affection of such a massage. By doing this every day to yourself – or to someone else – as has been said in Ayurveda, it is “better for you than for the one you are giving the massage to.”
What is oxytocin?
Oxytocin is the bonding hormone secreted by mother, baby, and even dad, during childbirth, and connects to the family for life. Oxytocin is produced when you give yourself love, bonding, touch, and when you take care of others.
The problem is that you have to do it without conditions, without need or expectation. It’s a natural, rejuvenating, binding hormone – which means the more oxytocin you make, the more of this you get.
Oxytocin is released in response to touch.
Oxytocin is released in response to touch, including massage, with low-intensity stimulation of the skin, and warm temperature. Massage helps the body deal with stress in ways that are just beginning to be understood.
Additionally, massage has been found to increase oxytocin and decrease stress hormones such as adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), nitric oxide (NO), and beta-endorphin (BE).
In another recent study 95 people had their blood levels tested with varying amounts of chemicals before and after a 15-minute massage.
Oxytocin levels increased by 17% for the group that received the massage. The control group that simply rested showed a 9% decrease in oxytocin.
ACTH (adrenocorticotropin), which increases with stress, increased by 30% for the group that rested without receiving massage. Interestingly, it was reduced by 20% for those in the massage group.
Oxytocin increases good intestinal flora and vice versa.
One of the ways that oxytocin works is by altering the microbiology in the skin during massage. A touch of love will increase oxytocin, which, in turn, alters bacteria in a way that becomes compatible with health benefits.
For example, to measure the microbial impact of oxytocin, one of the people in the study was given probiotics and his oxytocin levels increased.
The increase in oxytocin showed measurable changes in the quality of the skin and hair, and in the “health glow” in general, in the immune and hormonal balance, in the improvement of the physical state and reproductive factors, the ability to wound healing, and was also shown to affect attitude and social behavior.
The skin’s response to oil massage.
Everywhere you touch your body, there will be nerve endings. Sensory nerves in the skin are exposed to constant touch, circadian, microbial, emotional, and environmental stressors. In fact, only one of your arms has more than a million nerve endings that can be calmed by applying oil.
Essential oils calm the nervous system.
Essential oil massages are said to be very effective in calming the nervous system. And now, we have modern science to show that when you put oil on your skin, with care, respect and love, the body also produces oxytocin.
Something that is very important is that microbes that are sensitive to oxytocin are concentrated in moist, healthy skin, providing nutrients for the microbes in the form of water, amino acids and fatty acids.
Essential oils in massages benefit the skin.
When skin becomes dry or chemically altered with creams and lotions, the environment for a healthy skin microbiome can be compromised.
Certain species of microbes – and perhaps all microbes that are part of the normal flora of the skin – feed on sebum secreted by the skin, suggesting that the practice of an oil massage may be compatible with the health of the skin. skin in ways that are gradually understood.
Applying high-quality oils to your skin not only strengthens your important skin barrier, but also:
- Create a favorable environment for microbes.
- System health the nervous system.
- Relieves more than 1.8 million of the sensory nerves in the body’s skin.
- Increases the production of oxytocin, the hormone associated with love, optimal health, and togetherness.
- Beneficial microbes proliferate that support mood, mental and physical health.
- Keeps your microbes stress-free.
Oil massages for stress.
There is more research to be done to illustrate the effect of positive emotions (such as love) on microbes, and why applying oil to the skin is important. However, there is also a ton of existing research showing that microbes do not thrive in stressful environments.
For example, research showed that mice that shared cages with other mice showed an aggressive decrease in beneficial bacteria, less overall diversity of the gut microbiome, and an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, making them more susceptible to infection and intestinal inflammation.
In another study, during a week of stress tests, researchers found that college students’ stools contained fewer good bacteria than they did in the relatively quiet first days of the semester.
Swish with coconut oil, massages for our inner skin.
As the outer skin follows the path of the mouth and through the oral cavity, respiratory system, digestive tract, and intestine, Ayurveda also has practices for sharing love with our inner skin.
For example, oil swish is a long-standing Ayurvedic practice that involves rinsing with oil into the mouth for 10-20 minutes on an empty stomach.
Modern science shows that as long as you rinse with high-quality coconut oil, the enzymatic modification that takes place in the mouth increases the effectiveness of coconut oil. Which supports a healthier mouth and better breath.
Another Ayurvedic practice to take care of the inner skin is that of scraping the tongue, which also has a number of health benefits, including the improvement of digestive enzymes, the decrease of the undesirable bacterial load, the decrease of the volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) that contribute to bad breath, and decreased strep mutans, which are known to cause tooth decay.