When it comes to mental health, everyone has different ways of coping with symptoms they experience. For some, medication is the answer. For others, therapy works wonders.
In addition to more traditional treatment paths, many have found that massage therapy can be incredibly beneficial in terms of managing their mental health. This makes sense since massage has been shown to trigger the body’s natural relaxation response. This can make it a useful tool for decreasing both short and long-term stress.
Outside of this response, there are many other mental health benefits people experience after a session. In this blog, we’re covering 6 mental health benefits and although this list isn’t exhaustive, it covers some of the primary effects our clients report after a session.
The Many Mental Health Benefits of Massage
- Anxiety – Massage therapy can help to decrease feelings of anxiety. The journal of Depression and Anxiety found that after 12 weeks of routine massage sessions, participants diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) reported experiencing fewer symptoms.
- Depression – Massage therapy can improve people’s ability to cope with depression. While there isn’t a scientific study to directly prove these benefits, the self-reported benefits are substantial.
- Stress – As we mentioned earlier, massage can induce a physiological relaxation response in the body. This can allow both the mind and body to relax which can, in turn, protect our health long term. Small amounts of stress can be good for people, but long-term stress takes a drastic toll on our bodies.
- Sleep – Sleep can radically affect a person’s mental health. Massage has been shown to improve the quality of your sleep and also help with insomnia.
- General well-being – Routine massage can improve your overall well-being which can positively impact various aspects of your mental health. Along with this, massage therapy can also positively impact your mood.
- Chronic illness and pain – Frequent and long-term pain in the body can negatively affect mental health. When muscles and connective tissues accumulate unhealthy buildup, massage can relieve those areas and allow them to flow more freely.
- Particularly for cancer patients, massage therapy can reduce symptoms caused by their treatment or illness. Patients’ and survivors’ mental health can improve when some of their physical symptoms are alleviated.
Massage therapy can be a great way to improve mental health. It can relieve stress, decrease physical pain or tension, and improve overall well-being in many people.
As with all integrative therapies – consult your doctor first before adding massage to an existing healthcare plan. Massage therapy shouldn’t replace traditional forms of healthcare, but it can often be integrated into traditional care plans.
Interested in experiencing some of the mental health benefits of massage therapy for yourself? Book a session with our team today!