In today’s fast-paced world, everyone is a victim of stress. Studies have proven anxiety and depression to be common mental illnesses prevalent among all age groups. This problem doesn’t just affect mental health but also tenses other parts of the body. Massage therapy tends to have multiple health benefits for the body. Giving your body moments to rest, you can reap not just psychological but physical benefits as well.
Many people receiving massages fail to acknowledge the health benefits. If you think you might need massage therapy to relieve your depression or stress, here are a few benefits that you should know about. Before heading to the benefits, let’s get to know what massage therapy is.
What is massage therapy?
During your massage therapy, the therapist will manipulate and press your soft tissues and muscles to improve function, offer relaxation, or sometimes both. Massage therapy is a technique that has been used in China for over 3000 years. Many people believe that this can help relieve depression and give a feeling of ease. According to their study, massage touches the release hormones that give a feeling of emotional connection. In this manner a massage therapy can greatly help in improving your mood, calming your mind, and relaxing physical pains and aches.
How massage therapy benefits depression and anxiety
Massage therapy offers multiple benefits for relieving anxiety and depression. Here are five benefits described below.
- You will feel connected with others
Massage therapy can help relieve anxiety and depression by helping you connect with strangers. Like a physical touch can help strengthen marriages, a good therapeutic massage can help you feel connected with your therapist thereby releasing endorphins. These hormones promote feelings of ease and help deal with isolated thoughts.
- Helps with an improved sleep
Depression and anxiety do not let one sleep with peace because of all the thoughts that occupy the mind. Massage therapy can greatly help improve one’s sleep by lowering the heart rate and reducing the levels of cortisol in the blood. Not only does relaxed massage help with a quick sleep, but also helps increase the period of deep sleep. Massages help better the sleeping patterns of adults, children, and adolescents who suffer from problems like fibromyalgia, cerebral palsy, insomnia, migraines, or more. Research shows that a 30-minute massage two times a week for five weeks leads to an apparent decline in pain, leading to better and improved sleep. By reducing the neurotransmitters linked with pain, massage therapy can help you get better sleep. With better sleep, the problems of depression and anxiety gradually decline.
- Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
Massage therapy can appropriately help relax the mind and the body leading to a reduced heart rate and blood pressure. Both these symptoms are associated with anxiety and depression. By lowering these symptoms, a soothing massage can help relieve stress and anxiety, thereby helping you stay relaxed and calm. Low heart rate and blood pressure also help reduce the symptoms of chronic disease and illnesses, thereby improving your overall health.
- Boosts the immune system
Good massage therapy can maintain your health by increasing the white blood cells of the body that are essential in fighting against diseases like bacteria or viruses. How does this help with anxiety and depression? People suffering from depression or anxiety tend to have high levels of cortisol that result in a compromised immune system. By helping give your immune system a boost, a good massage can surely relieve your stress and anxiety.
- Releases hormones and endorphins
During a massage, your body releases multiple hormones including serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine that aid in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety, thereby leaving you feeling centered and balanced. These hormones are happy hormones and help reduce stress, anxiety, and irritability. Relaxing massage therapy can, therefore make you a happy person, and give positive effects on your personal life and the life of others around you.
- Helps you relax better
With all those happy hormones released, you are sure to become more relaxed and calm. Being relaxed can greatly help reduce the levels of anxiety and stress. How does that work? When your body is relaxed, it tends to have low blood pressure, heart rate, salivary cortisol levels, and oxygen consumption. This helps to reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. The best part is that no need to have an hour-long massage to reap the benefits. Studies show that the physiological and psychological benefits of a massage are apparent even after the first 10 to 15 minutes. So, no matter how hard your schedule is, you’ll never be short on time to relax a little.
When you plan on having the next massage therapy, try to get involved in understanding the benefits. Let your mind get a moment, if not more to unwind and let go of the worries it holds. Getting regular treatment will help you reap the maximum psychological and physical benefits of getting massage therapy. Over time, you will get a clearer sense of whatever goes inside your body. This is sure to give you a feeling of calmness and relaxation.
In conclusion, the question is can massage therapy help with relieving the symptoms of stress and anxiety? A short answer, yes it does. However, it is important to consider that this is not the cure. While anxiety and depression cannot be cured, the symptoms can be managed with different techniques, one of which is a good massage. If you believe you struggle with depression and anxiety, a good way to relax will be to find a skilled massage therapist.
Giving yourself some time out to relax is essential to your health. Bottling up all your tensions and intense emotions will become detrimental to your health. So, massage therapy can be a good way to help you release a bit of those inner tensions. If you haven’t yet tried it for yourself, we encourage you to give it a try.