Int J Neurosci. 2005 Oct;115(10):1397-413. Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. Touch Research Institutes, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
In this article the positive effects of massage therapy on biochemistry are reviewed including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. In studies in which cortisol was assayed either in saliva or in urine, significant decreases were noted in cortisol levels after massage therapy. In studies in which the activating neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) were assayed in urine, massage therapy led to an increase in serotonin and dopamine. These studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences.