The Internet has all sorts of quick tips and tricks for how to reduce or eliminate depression or anxiety, some of which include prescriptions, and some are more on the natural side. And we all know that massage feels good and is relaxing, but did you know that it also has beneficial effects for depression?
“While massage is not a depression cure, it can help decrease depressed feelings. One of the best-known benefits of massage therapy is its ability to enhance feelings of well-being, and studies show promise in the area of depression” (Health Reviser).
During massage, endorphins and serotonin, both of which are in low supply in people with any sort of depression disorder, are released, which can reduce the symptoms of depression and create feelings of happiness in patients. Studies suggest that massage can help eliminate symptoms (albeit temporarily) in patients with all sorts of depression: Seasonal Affective Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Depression due to a traumatic event, and Depression due to hormonal changes in the body. This is just a short list, but also included is anxiety disorders.
“In a series of studies including about 500 men, women, and children with depression or stress problems, researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants before and immediately after massage and found that the therapy lowered levels by up to 53%” (Prevention). Cortisol is the stress hormone that researchers have proven to be the cause of some anxiety and depressive disorders and also weight gain associated with stress. The overabundance of cortisol in the body can lead to many stress-related issues.
The American Journal of Psychiatry found “potentially significant effects” in treating depression with massage, with almost 800 “moderate quality” studies being evaluated for this determination. They assure that more studies will be done, but at the very least, massage will lift your mood, calm your nerves, and alleviate stress, and even for the temporary (and possibly more long-term) effects of getting rid of the side effects that come with depression, it is worth it.
Massage has helped so many people with depression and anxiety disorders, and the American Journal of Psychiatry’s studies compared it with other Chinese herbs, oils, and natural healing techniques, and in almost all of the studies, massage came out ahead.
To schedule your massage or if you have more questions on how we can help with your depression or anxiety disorder, contact Dawn at Strongsville Massage at 216-339-1089.