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The Mental Health Benefits of Massage

This post was written with the Mental Health Awareness Week in mind, but we thought there was no better time than right now to examine the effects massage can have on your mental health! The link between physical and mental health is well-known, and well researched. After all, it is impossible to have one without the other.

Stress can have a huge impact on both aspects of our well-being, and there is no lack of finding areas that cause stress in our normal daily lives; the workplace, relationships, financial stress, the list goes on

Finding healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress can help us deal with both physical and mental issues. While most of us know that massage is fantastic for a broad range of physical problems, science also proves that regular massage has impressive effects on our mental health. Scheduling a regular massage into your month can help transform your body, mind, and productivity. Here’s why...

Improved Sleep Getting plenty of regular sleep is an essential part of any wellness routine. Without it, we are more susceptible to a range of physical and mental problems. While workplace massage isn’t designed to send you off to dreamland on the spot, the effects of increased blood circulation, lowered heart rate, and relaxed muscles can help you sleep more easily - and for longer - when you do hit the hay. Relieve Symptoms of Depression

Researchers analyzed 17 clinical studies to see if massage therapy can help ease symptoms of depression. They found that every single study had positive results in relieving some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Please note: If you do suffer from depression or need help to talk to someone, massage is part of the arsenal in helping you but will never replace professional help and advice. Please ask for help. Promote feelings of wellbeing and connection

Oxytocin is known as the “love” or “cuddle” hormone. When people connect physically, touch, hug, or bond, oxytocin is released, promoting deep feelings of wellbeing, ease, and comfort. The expert touch of a massage superhero can get that hormone flowing in a safe and non-offensive way, as we massage over the clothes. Lowered Stress Levels

Cortisol is the “stress” hormone. When this is running wild, we feel exhausted, anxious, and tense. Prolonged stress and elevated cortisol levels can lead to a host of other problems. Massage has been proven to reduce cortisol levels by as much as 30 percent. This then supports your body to battle anxiety naturally. Feel Fresh and Energized

Living with any mental illness is draining and exhausting. It can feel impossible to even drag yourself out of bed in the morning, let alone work with a clear head. Because massage improves circulation, you can feel more energized and focused, dispelling those feelings of fatigue and lethargy. Naturally Increase Serotonin and Dopamine

Many antidepressants work by boosting low serotonin levels in the brain (the “happy” neurotransmitter.) Scientists have discovered that massage can boost serotonin and dopamine by about 30 percent, giving us a natural mood boost. Calm Your Mind

Along with the physical changes that massage can cause, the simple act of taking a break from your workload, even for 15 minutes, can help reset your brain and let you take some deep breaths. The opportunity to step away from your desk can help give you perspective, so you return to your tasks with a fresh mind and body. Mental Health

It is important to take a holistic approach to mental health. There is no one-stop solution or magical pill that can instantly make everything better. But learning to slow down, take care of ourselves, and find balance is a great beginning. Regular massage, as part of a well-rounded health and wellness focus, can make a world of difference.

Originally published in Physio By Design.


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