Massage is one of the ways to reduce stress and relax the body in order to prevent high blood pressure and an increase in heart rate. This is especially true for those in high- demand jobs. According to Pilch and Menard, “having a sense of control or autonomy for men and social support for women can help protect against the negative impacts of stress.” There are also an increasing number of employers who are providing their employees with on-site chair massages. There have been quite a few studies done that have shown that massage can reduce both stress and heart rate. These studies have shown that after receiving a message, there has been a significant increase in the parasympathetic nervous system of the test subject. This system, also simply called PNS, counteracts any stress response produced by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) in order to allow the body to come back into balance. In a study done by New Zealand researchers who were testing the role of massage therapy on migraine headaches, levels of stress were measured through levels of cortisol.
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