Massage Therapy for Depression
Massage is usually associated with physical pain relief and therapy. And while massages are very useful in helping relieve your body of physical stress and provide it relaxation, they can also be especially helpful in dealing with mental problems such as stress, anxiety and even depression.
How Massages Work
To understand how massages can help us in reducing our mental problems, we must look at how they affect our body. Our skin contains millions of nerve receptors that are directly linked to our central nervous system. During a massage, these receptors are stimulated and as a result this causes your brain to release many relaxing and helpful chemicals like dopamine and serotonin which are known to enhance your mental wellbeing and mood. What’s more, this stimulation also causes the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline to go down.
How Massages Combat Depression
Massages cause the biochemistry of a human body react in a mentally positive way. The release of relaxing chemicals like dopamine and serotonin help relieve depression and anxiety. How does this help in depression? Because depression is simply due to a lack of serotonin and an abundance of cortisol in the body. A good massage increases serotonin and lowers the cortisol levels of a body, and that in turn helps calm down the mind and ease depression. It may not cure depression completely, but can be used in conjunction with other methods such as exercise to fight depression.
A research conducted on depressed men, women and children found that effective massage therapy lowered the level of cortisol by 53%. Depression can have a serious and detrimental effect on your mood, and a massage can help you because it causes the brain to release serotonin which calms the body and endorphins which stimulate the brain.
Depression and anxiety can also result in a lack of sleep, which in turn can make the depression and anxiety worse because it weakens the brain’s ability to think logically. A massage can help in this regard because it can help improve a person’s sleep pattern. Some research also indicates that people who get comfortable massages are able to sleep longer.
Several surveys conducted also show that people with depression and anxiety who used to take anti-depression or anti-anxiety medication report better results from a good massage rather than medicines.
If you would like to improve your mental well-being and be energized every day due to a healthy lifestyle, we suggest getting a massage regularly in order to fight depression and anxiety and improve your health and body in a whole host of other ways.