Morning appointments and at-home techniques can reduce the negative effects of stress.
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Other research shows that Swedish massage can cause a decrease in cortisol in the body and an increase in oxytocin. Lowering cortisol levels is especially important for athletes, she says, since having too much of the hormone can suppress your immune system and slow testosterone production, which inhibits recovery.
Getting a massage before work can help you react more calmly to stressors during the day. If you don’t have time for an appointment, try this: Grab a Trigger Point therapy ball (a tennis ball works, too) and place it between your body and a wall. Gently roll the ball back and forth over tense areas in your shoulders, back, neck, and chest for 30 to 60 seconds, enough time for the tissue and nervous system to respond, Bartucci says.