#23 Things to Do to Build Your Brain: Get a Massage!

I don’t know too many people that won’t appreciate hearing about this tip! Yet I didn’t add this just because it feels good; I added it because it helps build the cortex and stimulates alertness, especially in babies, in the elderly, and those suffering from cortical injury. It also stimulates the release of a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter; yes getting a massage can encourage the release of serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter many of you have already heard of. It acts as a modulatory neurotransmitter and regulates moods like depression and anxiety. It also plays a role in the coordination of different aspects of cognition.

Here are some other functions serotonin plays a role in:
• Feelings of safety and security
• Self-confidence
• Balancing appetite
• Stimulating digestion
• Balancing libido by improving mood
• Stimulating feelings of happiness
• Helping us deal with social situations

Serotonin is basically a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter and regular relaxation massage stimulates its release! De-stressing is part of why massage is so effective and stimulating of nerve pathways also helps. It’s like six degrees of separation, as one nerve is stimulated it has a cascading affect on others. Before you know it the whole body is feeling good!

In infants and babies, regular massage creates even more dramatic brain changes. Babies who are massaged three times a day for 15 minutes have better weight gain and get a load of this: their brains get bigger! It has also been shown to boost their immunity…bonus!

So what’s the Mind Medicine Prescription for today?

Go indulge in a relaxation massage!
You’re welcome!

2 thoughts on “#23 Things to Do to Build Your Brain: Get a Massage!

  1. I love to hear about the science behind the things that we do. Getting a massage may make perfectly good common sense to some people but others may need more convincing before they allow themselves to receive.

    • The next tip will be on how to get the precursors of serotonin from specific food. But here’s a bonus. If you have someone in your life that doesn’t believe in the science of massage (they probably just don’t know how good it feels) they can get a mini version of a serotonin rush by being touched and/or hugged.

      Got that skeptic in your life? Give them a hug.

      “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
      —Virginia Satir, family therapist

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