Can Massage Make You Fall in Love?
You don’t have to be a neuroscientist to know that massage helps us to feel good, boosting our mood and allowing feelings of anxiety and stress to disappear. But can massage increase our feelings of love – towards our partners, ourselves and our new born babies? In this month’s blog, I explore the connection between massage and the hormone called Oxytocin.
So, what is Oxytocin?
Oxytocin is a hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter and plays a part in our social interactions. Commonly known at the “love hormone”, oxytocin is increased when we hug or kiss a loved one. It increases our ability to show empathy and build trust. What’s even more amazing, is that oxytocin plays a role in maternal-infant bonding and breastmilk production.
What does this mean for Pregnancy an Postnatal Massage?
Author of The Oxytocin Factor, Dr. Kerstin Unvas Moberg states that massage is one of the most effective ways to increase levels of oxytocin, not only in the person receiving the massage, but the massage therapist as well! (This really explains my HIGH level of job satisfaction!)
Oxytocin can counteract the effects of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to high blood pressure, reduced immune function and depression over extended periods of time. Even those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have been able to reduce their levels of stress and increase oxytocin levels with massage.
A study by Morhenn et al (2012) found that massage increased the levels of oxytocin and suggest that there may be a connection between social interactions and reduced morbidity and mortality rates. So massage can make you feel good, more connected to your loved ones and the community as well as boosting your health!
A study by Azriani et al (2016) found that there was an increase of breastmilk production when “oxytocin massage” is performed in the days following birth. So this is great news for my mamma’s that want to breastfeed their little ones!
That’s why we feel so good after a massage and why massage should be a part of your health and wellbeing routine as your journey through the stages of pregnancy and into motherhood!
For more information on how to take better care of yourself with massage, head to our blog archive.
If you want to feel the love – book a massage now!
Morhenn V1, Beavin LE, Zak PJ. (2012) Massage increases oxytocin and reduces adrenocorticotropin hormone in humans. Altern Ther Health Med. Nov-Dec;18(6):11-8.
Devi Azriani, & Sri Handayani, Politeknik Kesehatan Kemenkes Jakarta I (2016) The Effect of Oxytocin Massage on Breast Milk Production Dam Vol 1, Issue 8, Page 47-50,