Massage Therapy And Depression: What You Need To Know

Depression currently affects 10 percent of the U.S. adult population. There are certain individuals that are more at risk of depression than others, including women, Hispanics, blacks, individuals between the ages of 45 and 64, those who are unemployed or unable to work, individuals previously married, as well as others. Individuals who are depressed are at risk of a variety of health problems, such as asthma, arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer. It can also result in increased absences from work, decreased productivity, and short-term disability.

Many assume that a fix to depression is medications. The good news is that there is a natural way to help relieve depression—massage therapy. Research shows that massage can not only improve one's mood, but it can also help to reduce depression in a number of individuals.

How Does Massage Therapy Work to Relieve Depression?

When you are depressed, your muscles and tissues will become stiff and rigid. This can result in limited movement and pain. Through massage therapy, the tension within your muscles and tissues can be relieved, increasing blood flow and promoting relaxation.

While massage therapy will not cure your condition, it can help to relieve the physical symptoms that you are experiencing. For instance, with depression, you may be experiencing back pain, muscle aches, and sluggishness, all of which massage can help alleviate. Massage may also help to relieve sleeping issues and fatigue.

Types of Massage to Consider

Your muscles will be rubbed and stretched during a massage therapy session. There are different styles of massage, with some of them involving touching over the clothes and others involving direct skin-to-skin contact. Some massage styles will involve scented oils, acupuncture needles, or warm stones. Here is a look at a few different types of massage.

Swedish Massage – This is a common style of massage and involves smooth, circular, kneading actions by the massage therapist.

Deep Tissue Massage – This method of massage is often used when your muscles are extremely tight as a result of stress or other issues. The muscles that are focused on are those closest to the bones and those muscles' connective tissues.

Reflexology – With this style of massage, pressure will be applied to various areas of your feet that are said to correspond with other organs and systems within the body.

Shiatsu – This type of massage involves the therapist applying firm pressure to certain points on your body, similar to acupuncture. The pressure that is applied is more firm than what is applied in most styles of massage, but stiffness is rare after the massage.

Hot Stone Massage – This massage involves the therapist placing warm flat stones along your back in order to relax your muscles. Pressure will be applied to the stones to help relieve the tension in the muscles.

Aromatherapy Massage – This method of massage requires the therapist to use scented oils during the massage in order to boost your energy or reduce stress.

For more information, reach out to massage therapist services in your area.