Moderate-pressure masssage was shown to increase vagal activity and cause a shift toward greater parasympathetic nervous system activity, compared to light-pressure massage, which caused a decrease in vagal activity and greater sympathetic nervous system activity, according to a recent study.

The full research report of  “Moderate-Pressure Massage Elicits Parasympathetic Response,” ran in the print edition of MASSAGE Magazine’s October 2008 issue.

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