Massage Therapy Can Help Depression – and we started this campaign last week. Thank you to everyone who came out and participated in the “Shedding Light on SAD” campaign – your support and interest was truly appreciated! I was happy to see returning friends of Physique Massage and super delighted to meet new ones. There are a few more weeks of winter remaining (if the Groundhog is in fact correct in his premonition of an early Spring) and you can still take advantage of adding a Light Therapy Treatment to any massage!
Our Ode to Psychology Month continues as we explore the benefits that massage therapy can have on those who suffer from depression. Depression is more than just a few days of feeling sad; is a mental illness that entails an overwhelming sense of sadness, loss and hopelessness.
Some of the symptoms of depression
- Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Overeating, or appetite loss
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
- Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems
For more information on symptoms of depression, please visit DepressionHurts.ca.
Massage Therapy Can Help Depression
Massage creates a sense of deep relaxation and comfort, allowing the body to release tension and be open to positive healing and energy. Depression often causes people to isolate themselves from others, cutting off personal relationships that would otherwise be nurturing.
This contact and connection can have a profound impact on their mental and physical state.
Clients with clinical depression will often experience some form of body pain, which may become worse by lack of activity. Massage Therapy can help depression by targeting physical symptoms of depression working with the nervous system by increasing the feel good nerves, just like when you bump your head you instinctively rub it and it feels better. Releasing tense muscles increases the range of motion in joints, which can be further worked on to stretch shortened ligaments.
Short & Long Term Outcomes
Short term outcomes for a client with depression can include:
- Deepening of breath, such as in sleep
- Unclenched, relaxed muscles that had been previously tense
- Feelings of being lightened and unburdened of stress and worries
These outcomes allow the client’s body to recuperate, repair, heal and relax.
Long term outcomes can include:
- Better sleep quality
- Enhanced immunity and health
- More positive body image
- Enhanced concentration
- Lower intensity of physical pain
My goal in helping to produce positive long term outcomes is greater client understanding of the origins of depression and pain and how they can do more to care for themselves, including being able to ask for help and seek appropriate treatment. Massage therapy CAN help depression!
Booking Your Massage
By the time the symptoms of depression are recognized, you will have gone through a great deal of stress. Take a load off and unwind on our warm, comforting massage tables. Allow the soothing touch to ease away your pain and help you on to the road to healing as you reconnect body and mind.
Things to Consider When Booking Your Appointment:
- Choose an afternoon appointment if you find that you are not getting enough sleep or if you are sleeping in
- Come 10-15 minutes early to fill out a form describing the pain that you are experiencing
- For this week only, mention “depression” and get 15 minutes of meditation time added to the end of your massage treatment
Make time to take care of yourself. Don’t forget massage therapy can help depression!
Also this week, check out our next post on Dr. Melzack and his work on Developing the Gate Control Theory of Pain.
As always, I’d love to hear from you and what you are doing to take care of your mind and body this month. Leave a comment below and share my blog with anyone who you think might benefit from the information and massage treatments.