There is no better time than right now to examine the effects massage therapy can have on your mental health!

There is a well-known link between physical and mental health. After all, it is impossible to have one without the other. Stress can have a huge effect on both aspects of our well-being. There are many aspects of life that cause stress in our normal daily lives. Whether it be the workplace, relationships, financial stress, the list goes on. It is important to find healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress. In doing so we can better help manage both physical and mental issues. While most of us know that massage is fantastic for a range of physical problems, science also proves that regular massage has impressive effects on our mental health. Here’s why!

Improved Sleep – Getting regular sleep is an essential to optimal daily function. Without proper sleep, we are more susceptible to physical and mental problems. While clinical massage isn’t best setup to send you off to dreamland on the spot, the effects of increased blood circulation, lowered heart rate, and relaxed muscles can help you sleep more easily and for longer – when you do decide to rest for the night.
Relieve Symptoms of Depression – Much research and studies have shown massage therapy can help ease symptoms of depression. They found that every single study had positive results in relieving some of the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety such as fatigue, mood and restlessness and many others.
Promote Feelings of Well-being – Oxytocin is known as the “love” or “cuddle” hormone. When people connect physically – touch, hug, or bond, oxytocin is released, promoting feelings of ease, and comfort. The expert touch of a massage therapist can increase oxytocin levels, giving you feeling and overall sense of well-being.
Lowered Stress Levels – Cortisol is the “stress” hormone. When this is running wild, we feel exhausted, anxious, and tense. Prolonged stress and elevated cortisol levels can lead to a host of other problems. Massage has been proven to reduce cortisol levels by as much as 30 percent. This then supports your body to battle anxiety naturally.
Feel Fresh and Energized – Living with any mental illness is draining and exhausting. It can feel impossible to even drag yourself out of bed in the morning, let alone work with a clear head. Because massage improves circulation, you can feel more energized and focused, dispelling those feelings of fatigue and lethargy.
Naturally Increase Serotonin and Dopamine – Many antidepressants work by boosting low levels of serotonin in the brain – the “happy” neurotransmitter. Research has discovered that massage can boost both serotonin and dopamine by about 30 percent, giving a natural mood boost.
Calm Your Mind – Along with the physical changes that massage can cause, the simple act of taking a break from your workload, even for 15 minutes, can help reset your brain and let you take some deep breaths. The opportunity to step away from your desk can help give you perspective, so you return to your tasks with a fresh mind and body.
Mental Health – It is important to take a holistic approach to mental health. There is no quick solution or prescription that can instantly make everything better. But learning to slow down, take care of ourselves, and find balance is a great start. Regular massage, as part of a well-rounded health and wellness routine, can make a world of difference. If you want to explore the benefits of massage for yourself, get in touch with us!

It is important to note – if you do suffer from depression or need help, massage is part of the many therapies that can help moderate symptoms but will never replace professional help and advice. Please ask for help.

-Melissa Andre, RMT