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How Massage Therapy Helps With Depression

Undergoing massage therapy is like having a warm blanket of positive emotions draped over you. It relieves tension, gives you a relaxing environment to decompress in, and aids in relieving the physical and mental symptoms of depression. Many mental health professionals recommend a visit to a clinic staffed with registered massage therapists because of the numerous benefits it can produce for their patients.

Why do mental health professionals recommend massage therapy?

Physicians, psychologists and other mental health professionals often recommend that their patients visit massage therapists to help them with depression. Massage therapy provides a comforting touch that some people may be lacking in their lives. Or, if someone does have an incredible support group that surrounds them, it can also be an extension of that support. Moreover, massage therapy relieves the physical symptoms of depression such as back, joint and muscle pains, fatigue and sluggishness. Plus, it can help you sleep better because your body maintains its state of relaxation long after the massage is over. In fact, if you get a massage early in the morning, that feeling will remain throughout the day and carry on into the night when you go to sleep.

What is the science behind massage therapy relieving stress?

We face stress daily but when we’re depressed that stress can become unbearable and we may feel that there’s no way to cope. In order to decrease physical and emotional stress, massage therapists use different techniques to stimulate blood flow and manipulate the tissues. In addition, an hour long massage is capable of lowering cortisol by about 30%. Cortisol is the hormone that our body produces in response to stress and when cortisol is decreased, serotonin increases by approximately 28%. Serotonin is our body’s natural pain reliever and when it is increased, our chances of fighting pain, sadness, and anxiety are far greater.

How do massage therapists help with depression?

Massage therapists go through rigorous training to ensure that they create a relaxing environment for their clients. Besides learning proper massage techniques, therapists learn what type of music or sounds are best suited for a massage session and what scents work well to stimulate the olfactory system. When all these facets work in tandem, massage therapists are doing their part to relieve you of the symptoms and feelings associated with depression.

If you do suffer from depression, contact a mental health professional and remember that you do not have to deal with it on your own. You are not alone.


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