St. Valentine’s Day for many people is the day to celebrate romantic love. Couples in romantic relationships often engage in romantic touch such as holding hands, hugging, kissing, cuddling, caressing and massaging.
These forms of touch release the neuropeptide oxytocin, commonly referred to as the “love hormone”. While oxytocin is commonly associated with childbirth and lactation because massive amounts are released by the body during labor, there are many more beneficial effects this hormone can have.
Various studies have shown it can foster generosity, promote attachment to others, solidifies relationships, improves social skills and eases stress. Some studies have shown signs that oxytocin may also play a role in prevention of skin ageing, although further research is necessary.
So, what about people who aren’t currently in a romantic relationship? Fear not, massage therapy is one of the most effective forms of touch.
Massage also releases other “feelgood” hormones and neurotransmitters; beta endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. Collectively, they enhance the immune system, relieves pain, reduces stress, promotes a sense of well-being and positive feelings to name just a few. At the same time massage can reduce amounts of cortisol secretion and less cortisol means less inflammation in the skin.
Massage offers so many benefits, it’s extremely cost effective to perform and with the correct, skilled techniques it can feel magnificent.
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