Cortisol is an endogenous hormone that is released by our bodies in response to events and circumstances that cause acute stress. It triggers the ‘fight of flight’ call to action in the body and high levels of it keep the body on edge. High levels of stress and anxiety are a major roadblock to detox because they can tempt clients to seek out their old addictive habits as a way to assuage these uncomfortable feelings.
When going through the detox process, it is important to find ways to reduce stress as much as possible. There are a variety of physiological and emotional issues at work including pain, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, etc.. and massage therapy can be very successful at addressing them by way of its effect on Cortisol and how much of the stress hormones are reduced when being massaged. Stress hormones like cortisol have another negative effect on the immune system which can lead to higher levels of pain and the potential for illnesses.
Not only does massage help to reduce stress, it results in a 16% increase in beta-endorphins which, like dopamine, provide pleasurable sensations. Creating experiences that lead to positive attitude is the goal because this momentum will contribute to the success of other aspects of the detox program.