We’ve written lots of blogs about the benefits of massage on your physical health, but did you know that massage can also help you manage your mental health better, too? Here are some of the great ways your mental health could benefit from regular massage therapy.
Massage therapy is a great source of relaxation. It helps to reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies, which can be a major source of mental health issues in the modern world. When we’re stressed out about work, family life, money, or our health, we can experience changes in appetite, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and a lower sense of self-worth, among other things. Massage is a natural way to help you fight this.
Reduces symptoms of depression
Depression is a complicated disorder that can have a number of contributing factors. Partly, it is related to a depletion of or fluctuations in neurotransmitter levels. Physical contact, like hugging someone you love or receiving a massage from a professional, triggers the release of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which play an important role in elevating and regulating your mood.
It also releases the hormone oxytocin, which is known as “the love hormone.” This also helps to boost your mood and promote feelings of bonding. Overall, regular massage helps to improve your mood, which can help you manage the symptoms of depression better.
Massage helps to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, like a fast heart rate and irritability, which in themselves can make your anxiety worse in a vicious circle. As well as the relaxing effects of massage on your mind and body, massage also activates the body’s sympathetic nervous system, which has a number of anxiety-reducing effects.
Improves sleep quality
People with stress and anxiety often find it difficult to get to sleep at night and may find themselves waking up in the middle of the night, not being able to rest properly. Depression also has negative effects on your sleep, commonly leading to problems like insomnia or sleeping too much. The relaxing effects of massage help to promote better sleep quality, making it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and reach the deep sleep stages. So, massage is a natural way to tackle sleep problems that come with various mental health disorders.
If you are suffering from mental health difficulties, then it is still important to seek help from a medical professional. But, for many people, massage can act as an effective complementary therapy that supports the effects of therapy, improves mental health, and reduces the need for medication.