Have you ever gotten a massage and felt an instant mood lift? That might be because massage has been linked to fighting depression, at least for those that have sought out a massage for depression. When the muscles and soft tissue of the body are manipulated by a massage therapist, it can improve their function while promoting relaxation, making it easy to see why feelings of depression would be encouraged to dissipate. Take a closer look at massage to understand why it can help fight depression for you.
What is massage?
Massage is the manipulation of the muscles and soft tissue by a therapist to bring benefits to the body in function and relaxation. It involves rubbing, applying pressure, stretching, and often skin-to-skin contact, while in some scenarios additional measures including warm stones or acupuncture needles. A therapist uses hand, arm, fingertip, and elbow pressure to treat both physical and emotional problems in the body that dates back hundreds of years to when it was used as a medicinal treatment option.
The types of massage vary greatly from relaxation-focused treatment options like the Swedish massage to hot stone massages that promote relaxation in the muscles using warm flat stones. There are more intense massage options like the deep tissue massage which helps to correct a problematic muscle while shiatsu is used to provide a firm pressure to correct muscle issues.
The benefits of massage
There are many benefits to massage and it’s wise to get them often. When a trained professional massage therapist performs a massage, the body feels immediate relief, calmness, and relaxation. Even combining it with conventional treatment methods for depression like medication and psychotherapy, massage will still yield great results.
On the other hand, massage can’t treat the depression that is affecting a patient emotionally or chemically like conventional treatment options can, but it does offer relief and a mood boost that may offset these other issues temporarily.
Is there any scientific proof?
The studies have been done for massage and depression research. Studies are showing that massage for depression can actually relieve depression and anxiety that is affecting the body’s biochemistry, according to the Touch Research Institute at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine.
They found that massage increased dopamine and serotonin which are linked to reducing depression. They found this through studying women that were breast cancer patients receiving massage therapy for five weeks who ended up feeling less depressed.
Types of massage for depression techniques
The great thing about massage therapy is that it can relieve the tension that naturally happens in your muscles and connective tissues when they become stiff. Your blood flow will increase and that alone promotes relaxation. You’ll be able to see relief from the physical symptoms of depression including back pain, muscle aches, sluggishness, and sleeping problems.
The best massage for anxiety would be one of the relaxing massage options like the Swedish massage or Aromatherapy massage. A foot massage for depression would be Reflexology which works to stimulate better function of the organs and systems of your body through pressures points in the feet.
The aromatherapy massage using scented oils can not only make you feel more relaxed, but it can boost energy while reducing anxiety. Any method in which the mind and body can connect, such as through massage, is going to lead to relieved tension, improved health, better stress management, and relief of depression symptoms.
If you’ve ever wondered, “can massage help with depression?” the studies are in and they can, in fact, improve your depression symptoms. Make an appointment for a massage today in order to feel immediate results and to experience a relief from depression symptoms.