Let’s say your cat passes away or you find out that you’re not getting the promotion at work that you hoped for. You might call up your best friend and say “I’m so depressed.” But for millions of Americans, this term means something more than merely being ‘down in the dumps’ or ‘unmotivated to face the day’s responsibilities.’ There are a many different types of depression, including major, chronic, and manic–all of which are real medical conditions that deserve prompt medical attention. If you’re suffering from depression, you should know that pills and psychologists aren’t the only treatment methods. There’s a substantial amount of evidence to suggest that massage therapy can also be a useful weapon in the fight against depression. Keep reading to learn more.
Depression Is A Debilitating Condition That Affects Us All
When suffering from depression, it’s easy to believe that you’re the only one in the world who feels sad, anxious, unmotivated, apathetic, or even prone to self-harm. But you’re not. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association Of America, major depressive disorder affects more than 15 million American adults and is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 – 44.
If you yourself are free from depression, these statistics prove that it’s highly likely you know or care about someone who is afflicted. Medications and talk therapy can help some people minimize or even eradicate the symptoms of depression, but for many others, a multi-pronged approach is necessary to achieve relief. That’s where massage therapy comes in.
How Massage Therapy Can Reduce Symptoms Of Depression
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, “massage therapy can be effective in reducing the symptoms of depression.” The secret lies in massage therapy’s ability to lower levels of cortisol–the stress hormone–in the body.
“A 60-minute massage can lower cortisol, a hormone that’s produced in response to stress, by an average of 30 percent. And when cortisol levels decline, serotonin — one of the body’s anti-pain mechanisms — increases by an average of 28 percent after receiving a massage. By lowering cortisol and increasing serotonin, you’re boosting your body’s ability to fight off pain, anxiety and feelings of sadness,” writes Angela Olinger, M.T. for the Mayo Clinic.
While massage therapy alone may not be able to “cure” your depression, there’s a very high likeliness that–at least while you’re on the massage table–you’ll experience significant relief from your symptoms. Your massage therapy appointment is a safe time in which you can focus solely on relaxation and comfort. The touch of another human is vital to our wellbeing, and many people consider massage therapy to be an hour-long hug in which they get to bask in a gentle and therapeutic interaction with their therapist. “Most of them find relief after receiving massage, saying they are able to feel more relaxed and calm, and feel a sense of worth,” Olinger says of her massage therapy clients.
Contact Marshalls Creek For Massage Therapy Services
Are you interested to see if massage therapy could provide a path toward relief from your depression symptoms? Contact our East Stroudsburg office to learn more about our chair massage and deep tissue massage services.