Can Massage help Depression and Anxiety?
When we think of massage, we tend to think of the physical symptoms massage can bring – looser muscles, relief from aching joint and being able to actually turn your head again properly. But what about the other benefits we don’t think of instantly… the feelings of wellbeing, of actually doing something for us (rather than looking after everyone else), and relieving stress and tension we may not even be aware we are carrying.
We recently listened to a talk given by Roger from Therapi Tylino about just this topic. He talked about how massage can help our physical symptoms, as well as our mental health.
Right from babies, we know how much of a difference human touch can make to us. As parents, we are encouraged to hold our babies, and how important skin-to-skin contact is. It helps infants feel loved, cared-for and nurtured. If they are crying, we pick them up. If they fall over as toddlers, we give them cuddles to help them feel better. Even as adults, we still need that contact! For some, massage is an opportunity to receive that human contact, as well as ease any aches and pains, which can sometimes be thought of as a secondary benefit.
After a massage, people often report that they can sleep better, feel less stressed, feel more clarity in their thinking, and more relaxed, physically and mentally. There are numerous scientific studies showing that massage and human touch can alter our stress levels. A massage will reduce cortisol levels (which are responsible for making us feel stressed) and increase serotonin, which is one of the hormones our body makes to manage pain. In effect, the 2 hormones help by decreasing stress levels, and making your body feel better. The knock-on effect is that you feel better in yourself, and the feelings of sadness, depression and anxiety can lessen.
Think about the last time you had a massage. How did you feel afterwards? Did you go from having sore muscles and feeling tense to the complete opposite? I know I do! Before my regular massages I know I feel tense, and my muscles are often screaming at me. After I’ve enjoyed my massage, I tend to want to sleep! I feel relaxed, my muscles and joints feel looser too, and I know there is no way I can get much work done! Thanks goodness Roger comes to the house – I wouldn’t want to drive straight afterwards!
If you are feeling tired, anxious or depressed, why not give massage a try? Roger covers the South Wales area, and will come to your home or office. Why not consider having an office wellbeing morning or afternoon, where Roger can come in and perform a clothed, seated massage for your staff? You may be amazed at the longer-term productivity of your staff if they feel happier and more relaxed!