Often massage is seen as a luxury; an indulgence. It’s regarded as something purely enjoyable, rather than necessary or beneficial to one’s health. Understandably, many of us feel we don’t have the time or resources to prioritize something like massage. It’s therefore reserved for vacations and other special occasions, which contributes to the general association of massage therapy with relaxation and luxury.
Too often people forget that massage therapy is just that: a therapy!
In truth, massage offers a number of benefits, not only physical. In addition to being a wonderful way to improve circulation and combat stress, massage therapy is also an effective treatment for a variety of mood disorders. These include:
Seasonal affective disorder
Depression related to hormonal changes
Depression due to a traumatic event
Anxiety and stress
It’s important to note that massage is not a cure for depression, but for many patients it is a viable treatment for associated symptoms. A lack of the neurotransmitter serotonin is a key indicator of depression. Serotonin functions to transmit messages from your nerves to your brain, and to help you experience positive feelings. Massage is known to release serotonin and other “feel-good” endorphins. Simultaneously, massage helps to suppress certain stress hormones. That’s why you often walk come away from a massage feeling like you not only a happier back or neck, but a lighter heart!
In addition to these neurological results, we know that massage helps soothe muscles. It’s a great way to feel a significant reduction in physical tension, which in turn reduces how tense YOU feel! Massage relaxes you, which helps you to feel calmer and more comfortable.
We know that stress can cause a whole host of other damaging behaviours, including a poor diet, inadequate sleep, and repetitive clenching and stiffening of your muscles. It can negatively affect your relationships and performance at work. That’s why therapies that improve your mental and physical health offer a truly holistic chance at betterment.
So why not change the way you view massage? You don’t have to wait for a special occasion – or an opportunity to “treat” yourself – to begin experiencing its rewards. Consider it as a treatment option if you suffer from a mood disorder, or as an investment to improve your physical health. Make an appointment to meet our RMT Shelley Dukharan, who brings over 3 years’ experience to her massage therapy practice at Thrive Health.
You might find that massage becomes an integral part of your routine for optimal wellness!