Massage therapy of all types is becoming a popular treatment for the relief of sports injuries, muscle soreness and everyday aches and pains. However, its’ benefits are more than just physical: it is also an effective way to alleviate stress, depression and anxiety.
The usual treatment for many mental illnesses typically includes taking an assortment of medications to balance out hormone levels and stimulate the nervous system. Through touch, massage activates the nerve cell receptors under the skin and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which generates a calming effect through the release of mood-enhancing chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. It will also reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. It does the same job as the medicines.
Chronic pain caused by lifestyle stresses, disease or injury can pull down a patient’s mood. Relief from this pain through therapeutic massage can therefore improve their mood, physical and mental well – being. Massage can also improve sleep quantity and quality, lower our resting heart rate and lower blood pressure. All of which plays a big part in our general health.
Many organizations hire massage therapists to help lower employee stress levels and improve productivity as a massage break can improve morale, reduce sick days and improve workplace efficiency.
If you are interested in trying massage to help your mental health, please discuss with your doctor as it is not suitable for all conditions. If you get the go ahead, prepare to be open and honest with yourself and your therapist about what it is that you hope to achieve from your session.