Need an excuse to get a massage? Research shows that it’s good for your stress levels (duh), and immune system — and that the effects vary by type!
Volunteers who received [deep-tissue] Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. They also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system.
Volunteers who had the light massage experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment, than the Swedish massage group, and bigger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.
Now, how do I get on this volunteer list?
Massage Benefits are More Than Skin Deep, NY Times