Be prepared, this is a MASSIVE post today, about how we balance your hormones in every session and every massage. This is important whether you are male or female, as hormones affect everything from hunger to sleep quality! Most of the time you come to training, train well, then go home feeling better and that is all there is to it… but wait there’s more! I have referenced all of these points with articles and research papers so feel free to investigate for yourself too and understand further how the IntoYou Life is different to any other training you’ve done before!
Our sessions are one big happy-hormone-producing period of time, and today i am going to explain to how how we achieve this and why it’s important.
Firstly, you have to understand that hormones are EVERYTHING. From how warm you feel to how easily you burn fat, to how happy you wake up, the answer is in your hormones. We know now that there is a “posture” of depression, and it looks a lot like the posture of someone who sits at a desk all day. While there’s ambiguity over what comes first – the posture or the depression hormones, we do know that they go hand in hand. For this reason (and a multitude of others) posture is one of our first priorities when we are training you, as good posture may prevent depression, or ease it’s symptoms when you already have it.
For our mum’s who have had a c-section, we know that the c-section cut pulls the fascia of the abdominal wall tighter, which alongside the “mummy moves” you’re performing daily, can contribute to your ribs collapsing down towards your hips (otherwise known as “upper cross syndrome“). Again, this looks remarkably like the posture of depression, and we have to “unload” this posture to boost your happy hormones. Our scar tissue release sessions also do this, because we release the ribs and surrounding tissues as well as the scars and adhesion. This is why you often get a rush of emotion post your RELEASE me treatment!
In another posture study from Harvard Business School, “Power Posing” for as little as two minutes could stimulate higher levels of testosterone (the hormone linked to power and dominance in the animal and human worlds) and lower levels of cortisol (the “stress” hormone that can, over time, cause impaired immune functioning, hypertension, and memory loss). In addition to this desirable hormonal shift, the power poses led to increased feelings of power and a greater tolerance for risk… otherwise known as confidence! Put simply, increased confidence = increased success, reduced anxiety, and better performance, as shown by numerous studies. Think now about how we warm up and cool down in the gym… what postures do we regularly get you in to? Expansive, open, and “powerful” ones? or closed, fetal-like, hunched ones?
We do it deliberately. Because we want you to succeed.
The other thing we commonly do is try and make you laugh. When you laugh, even when you’re faking it, your hormones shift. More specifically, your stress hormones are moderated and often reduced. Also in every session, we touch you. Basic warm touch calms cardiovascular stress. It also activates the body’s vagus nerve, which is intimately involved with our compassionate response, and a simple touch can trigger release of oxytocin, aka “the love hormone.” Think about what a 30min massage with Claire could do! Are you a better person when you’re loved and relaxed? We are too!
Hormone balance massage (from a Reputable Day spa that provides Great Massage In Sydney), among the many benefits of regular massage treatment, triggers the body’s production and control of neurohormones (ie. your nervous system). Neurohormones are made by the nervous system and influence an individual’s behaviour and standard of well-being. Recent research has worked out that massage can help balance mood swings by moving your body towards a neutral homeostasis (a naturally well-balanced state). Research carried out at the TOUCH Research Institute at the University of Miami has found that massage raises the availability of all neurohormones affecting brain chemical composition.
Massage elevates your levels of dopamine, a neurohormone produced by the hypothalamus gland. Dopamine influences fine motor activity like painting, playing a musical instrument or finding with a mouse. It boosts intuition, motivation, joy, and passion. If your dopamine levels drop, you will most likely exhibit clumsiness, bad focus, and be very easily distracted. The same study found that massage increases levels of seratonin, and another one found that Massage can also raise the accessibility of serotonin, a neurohormone that controls conduct in terms of emotions, acting to quell irritability and desires for sex and food. Those low in serotonin frequently have trouble sleeping and tend to experience depression and obsessive-compulsive problems, not to mention lower sex drive and total irritability.
BALANCING these hormones is important. More important that having a lot of one kind, is having the right amount of many kinds, which is what a balanced exercise and self care program ensures.
More recently, we have started introducing a 2min meditation to our sessions, and creating opportunities to experience soothing, hormone balancing massage. This is because mediation has been shown to reduce stress, reduce anxiety, build resilience, and boost your immune system… all those things prevent disease in the long run. In fact, stressed people have a shorter life expectancy and lower quality of health before they die. These strategies are all in keeping with our mission to enhance your life… not just lose weight and look good, but actually bring something meaningful and powerful to how you LIVE right now.
Research shows that even a brief 15 minute seated massage can raise epinephrine (adrenaline ) levels by stimulating the sympathetic neurological system. This can increase a person’s alertness. A slower, longer, and more rhythmic massage can, however, reduce epinephrine ranges, creating a sense of relaxation, and aiding deep sleep. Massage therapy, has been shown to decrease levels of Cortisol — the stress relevant neurohormone created by the adrenal glands. Finally, by stimulating sleep, massage can boost the availability of growth hormones which boost cell division and is involved with tissue restoration, regeneration, and recovery.
So we massage in every session! But make time for extra massage every month or so for maximum results!
Even our use of Power Plate has a hormone motivation. Whole Body Vibration has been demonstrated to prevent Postmenopausal Bone Loss in ovariectomized rats. Another experiment conducted to analyse the effectiveness of a vibration exercise as an exercise protocol found Testosterone levels improved by 7% (not just the male sex hormone, but also involved in bone strength and ovarian function in women). Growth hormone levels increased by 460% (the hormone responsible for bone length and muscle growth), and cortisol levels decreased by 32% (stress hormone, and it’s really important to keep this down for your health! Symptoms of too much cortisol include: weight gain, particularly around the abdomen and face, thin and fragile skin that is slow to heal, acne, for women, facial hair and irregular menstrual periods).
Also in the above study, they found a parallel enhancement of vertical jump results (+ 4%), together with an increased mechanical power of lower limbs during leg press exercise (+7%) and a reduced EMG activity of leg extensors muscles (-10%). The results suggest that the physiological responses to vibration exercise can vary depending on the protocol utilised, which is why we use it for power, isometric strength, regular strength training, stretching and massage!
During your massage with Claire, we have started targeted specific hormone dysfunctions like hypothyroidism and also supporting hormone changes that come naturally with your cycle or menopause. In her research, Claire has found that Hypothyroidism is characterized by the thyroid gland’s inability to produce enough levels of hormones. The condition includes many symptoms including fatigue, depression, muscle weakness, and fluctuations in weight. Because these symptoms develop slowly over time, hypothyroidism is considered difficult to diagnose.
One of the biggest benefits of massage therapy for hypothyroid patients is improved lymphatic and blood circulation. Lymphatic flow is crucial for all endocrine (hormone) organs, therefore the thyroid could benefit from increased circulation. Another benefit is reduced inflammation. Some studies say massage therapy creates a result similar to anti-inflammatory medications. The third benefit of massage therapy is reduced stress within the body, decreasing cortisol and other stress hormones.
For diabetics the use of massage therapy has been growing drastically in the last few years. Various studies have shown that the patients who suffer from diabetes use massage therapy in conjunction with their regular medical treatments. In diabetes, the blood sugar (glucose) levels are very high due to the imbalance in the secretion or utilization of the hormone insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas for helping the glucose to enter the cells as well as for regulating the blood sugar level in the body. When massage is given at injection sites, it increases insulin absorption in the body. In addition to this, it also has a positive effect on the blood glucose levels.
The benefits of massage therapy is huge for diabetics and can range from stimulating the lymph system, lowering the blood sugar levels, to removing toxins from the body. Massage improves the blood circulation in the body and reduces the ill effects developed due to diabetes such as hardening of arteries. When the blood circulation in the body improves, more oxygen and nutrients are provided to the body cells and this in turn improves the utilization of the insulin by the cells.
All these affects and benefits don’t even include the regular benefits from regular exercise, which you can read about here. No matter who you are, you can benefit from increased confidence, circulation, and feelings of happiness! No matter who you are, you will benefit from decreased stress hormones. Every session, every massage, every move we make is geared towards bringing you back to a balanced state, an hopefully you FEEL the difference in your LIFE!