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“Come on, honey, just a minute”: perfect massage is shorter than you think

Do you always have discussions about how long your partner should massage you? According to a new study, it doesn’t really have to be more than 10 minutes.

Information that you shouldn’t put on your sweetheart’s nose, but that does play to your advantage. Do you suffer from stress? You can completely calm down your body in no time. We have already selected several massage items for you.

A new study by the University of Constance in Germany shows that ten minutes of massage is enough to relax your nervous system. More specifically, the researchers analyzed the effect of massage on the parasympathetic nervous system, which puts our body in a state of rest and recovery.

Vagus nerve

Sixty healthy women were divided into three groups. Nineteen of them were given the task of massaging their heads and necks to stimulate the vagus nerve (Vagus nerve, historically cited as the pneumogastric nerve, is the tenth cranial nerve or CN X, and interfaces with the parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract). This is the longest and most complex nerve of our body that connects the brain to our organs. An increase in activity in your vagus nerve stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to relax more quickly.

Twenty-two other ladies were given homework of massaging their shoulders and neck in a softer way than the first group, to see if that touch was just relaxing. A third group, the control group, consisted of nineteen women who simply had to sit down in silence without massaging themselves.

Heart rate variability

The research team measured the degree of relaxation via the women’s heart rate and heart rate variability. The latter shows how well the parasympathetic nervous system responds to stress. Their emotional well-being was also questioned.

Both the moment of rest and the massage, both of which only had to last ten minutes to be effective, significantly reduced stress in the participants. The massage was even more effective than rest alone. The women reported feeling more relaxed, and their heart rate variability improved because their parasympathetic nervous system was able to respond better to stressful situations, and thus the body relaxed more quickly.

Relaxation for everyone

Extra valuable about this discovery is that it makes deep physical relaxation available to everyone. A luxurious spa or Swedish massage is lovely, but not necessary if you want pure relaxation. “You don’t need luxury treatment to relax,” confirms Maria Meier, one of the researchers. “Someone who gently brushes your shoulders, or just lying on the bed for a while is effective enough.”

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