Massage therapy is one of the fastest–growing fields in healthcare and for good reason. Not only does it work, but it feels great. And if you’re ready to improve your mental health and well-being, massage therapy can help.
One of the most important benefits of massage therapy is that it helps people relax and manage stress. For many people, stress is the primary cause of anxiety or depression. Massage therapy has been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol while increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of happiness.
A massage session also increases blood circulation. This helps your muscles and organs function better, reduces pain and stiffness, and provides an overall sense of wellness. Another benefit — is you may have experienced yourself — is how good massage makes you feel physical. The positive effects can last for hours after the treatment! A massage can be a great antidote to a hectic day.
Learn how massage affects mental health!
Stress and anxiety
Massage therapy has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety faster than other treatments. In one study, massage therapy was found to be as effective as the medication fluoxetine (brand name Prozac) in reducing general anxiety disorder symptoms. Another study showed that a single 60-minute massage from a licensed therapist was enough to significantly reduce anxiety and increase feelings of relaxation for up to 24 hours after the session.
The psychological benefits of massage extend beyond just relaxation, however. Many studies have shown that massage therapy can have a positive impact on depression, specifically. Massage therapy has been associated with reduced symptoms of depression in breast cancer survivors, older adults, and people with fibromyalgia — all groups that are especially vulnerable to both stress and depression.
Research on the psychological effects of massage is still growing, but there is evidence that it can help with a variety of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Massage is also being studied as an adjunct treatment for certain mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. A good therapist will work with you to develop coping skills and stress management techniques to assist you with overcoming depression. When used in conjunction with recommended medical therapy, psychotherapy can increase the likelihood of successfully overcoming depression.
Alleviation of chronic pain
Massage therapy has been known to alleviate the symptoms of chronic illnesses and diseases. The stress of a chronic illness causes added stress on the body and mind, which can create a vicious cycle. Massage therapy helps to calm the nervous system, which improves overall health and wellness. There is a lot of evidence that massage therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of chronic illnesses and diseases. It can also be used as a preventative measure for certain disorders and to help with recovery from injury.
While there are many different types of massage therapy, all of them work to address various issues in the body. Some of these ailments are psychological in nature, but many can also be physical. Massage therapy is often used as part of a treatment plan for people who suffer from chronic illnesses such as cancer or lupus, but it has also been shown to help with recovery from accidents and injuries and even to assist with sleep disorders.
All types of massage have been shown to have positive effects on patients with chronic illnesses and diseases. For example, Swedish massage is often used because it is the best option for people who suffer from arthritis or other muscle and joint–related issues. However, it is not recommended for people with recent injuries or medical conditions such as blood clots, so you would have to discuss this with your doctor before receiving this treatment.
There’s an entire industry built around getting us to relax. Massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture, and other relaxation-based therapies have proven to be not only effective but also practical. When we’re relaxed, our minds and bodies can work together more efficiently—which can increase the quality of our lives.
For many of us, finding time for a massage isn’t easy. We may not have the money or be able to take off from work. But even if you don’t have time for a professional treatment, there are still ways to reap the benefits of massage therapy in your daily life.
TIP: If you want to reap the benefits of massage without paying a professional masseuse, recruit your partner or close friend into giving you a massage! Even just a light 3-minute massage before going to bed can help improve your sleep quality! In addition, you can get a massage chair where you can relax every time you return from work.
Massage makes us happier
Massage therapy has long been known to relieve stress and decrease anxiety. The reason behind this is that massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the opposite of what happens when you’re stressed (the sympathetic nervous system). When this happens, it has a direct effect on emotions by reducing stress hormones and increasing those that help you relax. This can be helpful in helping the brain release serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals that help regulate mood. The combination of these effects can lead to an individual feeling happier and more relaxed.
The benefits of massage don’t stop there, though. Along with increasing serotonin and dopamine levels, it also leads to improved blood flow, better sleep, decreased tension throughout the muscles and joints, enhanced immune function, improved circulation (which can help with pain), improved focus and concentration, lowered blood pressure, reduced levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), reduced feelings of depression and anxiety, relief from insomnia and headaches, relaxation of muscle spasms and tension in the nervous system, relief from pain throughout the body, relief from tension headaches (by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system), relaxation of the mind for better focus on tasks at hand, relief from anxiety disorders such as PTSD or phobias due to trauma or fear.
Massage is directly related to physical and mental health
Mental health often has a direct impact on physical health, so an improvement in mental health can also help you stay on top of any physical ailments you may want to treat with massage therapy. Improved mental health often results in better sleep patterns and fewer aches or pains throughout the day. Massage also increases circulation to the brain, which can have a positive effect on mental health. Studies have shown that massage therapy can be a healthy alternative to treating anxiety and depression because it can increase the levels of neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation, such as serotonin and dopamine.
A lot of people are skeptical about massages at first because they assume to will feel additional pain but if you go into your appointment knowing that it will most likely feel good—and if you’re open to trying different styles—then you’ll start to notice the many benefits for yourself.
Massage increases concentration
Massage improves concentration by reducing fatigue, increasing circulation, and boosting your immune system — allowing you to better handle the pressures of life. And you don’t even have to spend money on an in-office massage; doing so at home is much cheaper and more convenient if you’re pinched for time. All you really need is a bit of massage oil — but if you want something stronger, lavender is often used as a natural relaxant.
In short, not only does massage feel good, but it has real health benefits for us as well. It helps us get through life with greater ease and grace — which means we can accomplish more at work and home. That’s why more people are trying massage therapy today than ever before!
About The Author
I am Tim Tyler, a passionate writer who tries to share his best with you. I want to help people with their issues, So, I write about common issues you may face in your daily lives.