If you’ve read my blog before, you know that massage has incredible effects on all areas of your body, and can be a complimentary treatment for just about all medical conditions. Massage provides positive outcomes for each of the twelve systems of the body. In order to understand how massage can help you and any illnesses you may have, it is important that you understand how the systems of your body work and what effects massage has on them. Check back on my blog weekly for a series of entries on each body system. This week: Your endocrine system.
HOW DOES YOUR ENDOCRINE SYSTEM WORK
We talked about exocrine glands when talking about the integumentary system. These glands secrete substances to the outside of the body. On the opposite end, your endocrine system is a series of glands that secrete substances inside the body. These substances are called hormones and they each do important jobs in your body, such as regulating emotions, metabolism, sleep, and sexual function among other things.
Organs such as the pituitary gland, thyroid, or gonads secret these hormones into your blood stream as needed so they can be circulated throughout your entire body. Hormones help to regulate bodily functions and your internal body clock. They let you know when you’re sleepy, when you’re hungry, when you’re happy, etc.
WHAT DOES MASSAGE DO FOR YOU ENDOCRINE SYSTEM?
One of the most cited benefits of massage therapy is the increase in circulation. This means that your blood does a better job at carrying substance, including hormones through your system, which means better regulation of bodily functions.
Massage therapy also helps to regulate the entire autonomic nervous system – the system that controls functions that you do no need to actively think about such as breathing, heart beat and… you guessed it! Hormone secretion.
Receiving massage also relaxes your entire body, effectively lowering the secretion of adrenaline and cortisol – two hormones that cause stress. On top of that, it increases secretion of oxytocin and endorphins – feel good chemicals!
We have one more system of the body to explore, and we’ll do that next month. Honestly, how could you not be convinced by now that massage is one of the best things you can do for your body?
Body Systems Series
Benefits of massage on the Endocrine System by Thomas Goodrich
Endocrine system benefits by Jacqueuline Newholm
Endocrine System: Facts, Functions, & Diseases by Kim Ann Zimmermann