Depression, Massage Therapy

This morning I was on my morning walk, listening to an audiobook, the book was talking about happiness and how we look at it. The author of the book talked about how the World Health Organization feels that by 2020 the number two killer will be depression! The author is British and mentioned that the use of antidepressants had risen 40% in four years. I personally think that this is just crazy anymore.

So why is a massage therapist writing about it…

Reason 1 was to share what I thought was crazy on my morning walk.

Reason 2 however was to talk about the effects massage can have on depression.

A lot of people I run into on a daily basis say that they only go for massage for their birthday or when their significant other gets them one. That it’s a luxury. I personally have been utilizing massage as a tool for health and wellness since I was 15 and suffering from horrible headaches and car accidents. What many don’t know is that it does far more than just relax a few muscles.

Massage has been shown to lower the levels of cortisol which is a hormone and it is produced when we feel stressed. According to the Mayo Clinic, a 60-minute massage can decrease the levels of cortisol by up to 30%. This in turn enables the levels of serotonin to increase. Serotonin, which is also a hormone, helps to fight pain, feelings of anxiety and sadness.

The massage table is also a place for safe, nurturing touch along with a space for you to reconnect your body and mind. We as a society have gotten away from the mind/body connection and we don’t always listen to what our body is trying to tell us. Anything that can help bring us back to that and get us back in touch with our bodies is a fantastic thing.

No I am not saying that massage therapy alone will cure or treat depression. You should always seek medical attention in these cases, however it can be a huge part of your treatment plan to help deal with symptoms such as pain, achyness, and fatigue. It can help increase dopamine, endorphins and serotonin to help combat feelings of anxiety and sadness. The table can be a place to relax and receive nurturing touch we all need as humans.

Let massage therapy be more than just for birthdays, holidays, or special occasions. Let massage therapy be part of your stress management and mental health care plan as well. Massage therapists love to use their skills to enhance the well-being of their clients!

Go on, schedule your next massage with your favorite therapist!