Most people know that massage therapy is one way to feel more relaxed, find relief for pain symptoms, and help reduce stress. But did you know it could also be good for your mental health?
Massage therapy has been practiced for thousands of years, first by the Chinese and then by other cultures as time went on. Research has been conducted in order to find the link between massage therapy and the health of our minds. This is good news for Americans, since millions of us struggle with depression and millions more deal with anxiety disorders.
Science has much to say about the benefits of massage. As researchers look at its effect on everything from pain to cancer and infant care to headaches, massage therapy and the impact on one’s mental health has also been studied.
Massage Therapy for the Depressed
Massage therapy is beneficial for far more than just relaxation. Check out the other ways it can be good for your mind, too:
- Results from a 2013 trial in which massage was used to treat depression in HIV-infected individuals found that symptoms can be reduced with the use of massage therapy.
- The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health cites a study that found regular massage sessions were associated with less anxiety.
- The American Massage Therapy Association lists over 20 ways in which massage therapy can be beneficial for mental health, including lowering anxiety and providing benefits similar to psychotherapy.
Massage Therapy for Veterans
Across the nation, 20% of veterans returning from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD, which can include depression and anxiety. As individuals seek ways to relieve pain and improve sleep, massage therapy is one alternative to this issue. As massage relaxes the body and decreases anxiety, it can also serve as a form of alternative medicine to a host of other issues.
Massage Therapy for the Anxious
In 2011, Prevention cited a review of more than a dozen studies done on the benefits of massage and its effect on anxiety. The results showed that massage therapy actually has an impact on the body’s biochemistry by lowering cortisol levels and increasing serotonin and dopamine, both of which help reduce depression.
Massage as an Alternative Medicine
Extensive research on the connection between massage therapy and mental health is proof that there is healing in touch. There are so many benefits to this type of treatment besides just a feeling of relaxation. Better sleep, less stress, improved circulation, and better muscle tone are just a few of the good things that can come from a regular routine of massage therapy.
Of course, any alternative treatment you decide to pursue for anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues needs to be discussed with your physician. Never stop other treatments without talking to your doctor first.
For your good health, Balanced Rock Bodyworks is proud to offer massage therapy in various forms. Contact us today.