In a 2010 study from Sweden, one 80-minute hand-and-foot massage significantly lowered people’s heart rates, cortisol levels, and insulin levels—all of which help lower stress. Consistent regular massages, even just neck and shoulder massages on a regular basis decrease stress.
Several modalities of massage including Swedish, shiatsu, and other massage types may ease depression, a 2010 meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found. Massages actually reduce stress hormone levels, heart rate, and blood pressure, and boost mood and relaxation by triggering the release of oxytocin and serotonin.
High blood pressure
A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that after people with normal blood pressure had deep-tissue massage for 45 to 60 minutes, their BPs fell—specifically, by an average of 10.4 millimeters of mercury (mm/Hg) systolic, and 5.3 mm/Hg diastolic.