Mental Health & Massage

In 2007 a National Survey of Mental Health & Wellbeing showed 7.3 MILLION Australians (that’s 45%) aged 16-85 had mental health issues at some point in their life.

3.2 MILLION PEOPLE(1 in 5 or 20%) had a mental health issue lasting 12 months,

Studies show that massage can have a profound impact on mood with anxiety reduction being one of the most well-established effects. Massage can help with depression, trait anxiety, depression in cancer patients, menopause, occupational stress & anorexia & bulimia. Couple massage with anaerobic exercise, yoga or meditation and you can reduce the symptoms of anxiety & depression.

So, what exactly does massage do to help with these mental health conditions?

  1. Hormonal release & balance
    1. I have spoken before about the hormones released during massage, but the main three hormones to focus on here are OXYTOCIN, SEROTONIN & DOPAMINE. Depression often manifests after these hormones have been out of balance for many months or years. Massage can be extremely effective to change the ratio of these hormones and over time with regular massage can allow them all to level, stabilizing mood.
  2. Touch is a POWERFUL thing –
    1. Touch between two people is a magical thing. Once skin touches skin there is a chemical reaction that occurs that releases OXYTOCIN within the two people connecting. Touch can be both damaging and healing. Touched in a safe and trusted environment, the body can be assisted to heal.
  1. Improving SLEEP
    1. The relationship between sleep and depression can be complex as depression can cause sleep problems. According to the Sleep Foundation, people with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression compared with those who sleep well (Taylor et. Al 2005). The hormones mostly at play here at DOPAMINE & SEROTONIN – massage can help level out some of these hormones to improve sleep duration and quality.

If you or anyone around you may be suffering from signs or symptoms of depression make an appointment with your GP or contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636, https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

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