Mental Health and Massage
Life has changed dramatically since March 2020 and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we have all been experiencing different states of anxiety. It's something I see daily with my clients; from anxiety with regards to the virus and being around people, to being too busy, adjusting to new rules, following the rules and watching others not follow rules. It's everywhere, and completely rational.
As this anxiety impacts our society and as mental health conditions become more common, people are increasingly seeking out treatment options.
Massage therapy provides relaxation and stress relief in the body, making it a powerful tool which can fit easily into a treatment plan for mental health issues.
"The approach and philosophy of well-trained massage therapists is complementary to conventional psychiatric training and can thus be an important additional resource in treating patients. A respectful and collaborative approach to care may truly help patients."
- Massage Therapy for Psychiatric Disorders, US National Library of Medicine.
Massage and stressful events
Massage can be extremely beneficial prior to, and following, stressful events.
During periods of stress the body increases the release of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, anxiety and fear. Low levels of cortisol can enable the individual to become alert, attentive and observant during the "fight" or "flight" response. Prolonged periods of high cortisol levels can leave an individual feeling anxious, stressed and even depressed.
Studies show that cortisol decreases and serotonin increases following massage therapy. Enabling the individual to feel relaxed and calm.
Massage and the mind-body connection
Massage is invaluable to facilitating reconnection between the mind and body. When receiving a massage, we give our minds the time to think about current problems or issues without any distractions. By focusing on our breathing during a treatment, we are able to calm our minds whilst also feeling completely reconnected with our physical self.
Human touch and mental health
As we went without hugging our loved ones during the pandemic it became apparent just how important human touch can be!
Touch plays a vital role in our health, and therapeutic touch through massage therapy has a calming and balancing effect on the nervous system. I have written more about the power of touch in my blog 'Will massage help me?'.
Massage, sleep and mental health
Lack of sleep can leave us feeling irritable and exhausted. Sleep deprivation has been linked to physical problems, such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Massage can directly influence the body's production of serotonin and the creation of melatonin, both of which are needed to promote a good night's sleep.
The benefits of improved sleep are amazing. Improved sleep is essential to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. It allows our bodies to repair and our brains to consolidate our memories and process information, as well as playing a significant role in maintaining both physical and mental health.
Mental health is a complex issue, with many people suffering from different levels of anxiety, stress and depression.
I provide massage treatments that can benefit an individual managing a mental health condition so, if you would like to take a holistic approach to treating the whole body through massage please get in touch. I am always happy to discuss your individual requirements.