Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why Rubbing Eases Pain ; The Study of Neurons and Serotonin is Explaining How Massage Works - Health - redOrbit

From this story:
"Neurons responding to pressure are longer and more insulated than pain neurons," Field said, "so the pressure message gets to the brain faster than the pain message. Once that happens, the brain 'closes the gate,' and the pain message can't get through."

"Massage also boosts levels of serotonin, the body's natural pain- relief substance, and induces deeper sleep. Well-rested bodies emit fewer pain-triggering chemicals, Field explained."

"Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain known to influence the functioning of the cardiovascular, renal, immune, and gastrointestinal systems."

There is, quite logically, research on reflexology showing a boosting serotonin levels as well as massage. Serotonin depletion effects a lot of things including sleep, weight, depression, schizophrenia, compulsive disorders and learning problems. Depletion is even implicated in hardening of the arteries.

I was often puzzled by people losing weight while doing reflexology. I really thought it had more to do with easing tension so they were more physically active. But there also seems to be a link between sleep and weight. This again involves serotonin. Serotonin effects leptin which is implicate in weight control although the role isn't fully understood.

Could reflexology help with weight control? There are two obscure Chinese studies with the morbidly obese. But not much else. I would be interested to see what more research could tell us.

We seem to be a serotonin depleted world. We have all the symptoms.

What do you think they will find?

Kevin Kunz

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