Whilst there are several physical benefits to having a massage, today’s medical researchers have found that massage therapy can provide several benefits to individuals who experience mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. Experts have shown some types of massage therapy can be an excellent complementary treatment alongside psychotherapy for treating certain mental health conditions.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are very common. Both can have a significant negative impact on lives. Several studies have proven beyond reasonable doubt that massage therapy can significantly reduce depression and anxiety symptoms. Researchers in Taiwan carried out a study involving almost eight hundred people. They found massage had helped individuals experiencing depression and anxiety, leading to a reduction in symptoms. Along with that, at Kyushu University in Japan, an expert team found that facial massage therapy had a soothing effect on participants’ psychological distress. As a result, anxiety symptoms were reduced and moods were improved.
If you work in a highly stressful job, then studies have shown massage therapy to be hugely effective in reducing workplace-related stress symptoms. One recent study carried out by the Mayo Clinic, involved thirty-eight nurses who received chair massages once per week during working hours, over a period of ten weeks. In comparison to those who did not receive any massage therapy, healthcare professionals who participated in the study reported a reduction in several stress-related symptoms including muscle and joint pain, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, and back and shoulder tension. If you have similar symptoms, this Hatfield massage clinic can help you deal with work-related stress.
Symptoms of Disease and Illness
Individuals experiencing serious or life-threatening disease and illness can often experience mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, which can worsen and exacerbate their condition. For individuals in these situations, massage therapy can greatly increase the quality of life, as well as aid relaxation and boost mental strength to fight off disease and illness. It is not uncommon for doctors and other health professionals to recommend massage as a complementary therapy, due to its healing abilities and the low risk of side effects.
Researchers have shown that massage therapy works by activating neurotransmitters in the brain that can help with anxiety and reduce levels of stress hormones. A study carried out at the Miami School of Medicine found that massage therapy helped people who were experiencing various mental health issues, including stress, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. The researchers found that in participants who underwent massage therapy, there was around a thirty percent increase in serotonin and dopamine levels; essential neurotransmitters for positive mental health. In addition, researchers found that participants also experienced a reduction of cortisol, a stress hormone, suggesting that massage as a treatment can help to reduce stress hormones and increase ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters for better mental health.
Have you experienced any mental health benefits as a result of massage therapy? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.