The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Depression

Having depression can create many symptoms outside of feeling depressed, and massage therapy can help reduce some of these symptoms. Depression can cause the person to feel an increase in stress and anxiety. These feelings often cause a person to create chronic tension in their muscles without realizing they are tensing their muscles.

Ongoing tension leads to the muscles and soft tissue becoming stiff and rigid, which causes muscle aches and overall pain in the body. Tension also can lead to sleeplessness, which further increases feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety. As you can see, depression is connected with the physical body, and the connection can lead to a cycle of anxiety, tension, sleeplessness, and pain. While massage is not a full treatment for depression, it can help ease some of the symptoms caused by depression.

Massage Therapy

Recently, more research is being conducted on the benefits of massage therapy in connection with depressive symptoms. The results consistently show positive results for massage therapy in helping to provide some relief for the symptoms of depression. After understanding how depression affects the mind and body, you probably can see why massage therapy would be beneficial for some of the symptoms.

A massage therapist will manipulate the muscles and soft tissue, which promotes relaxation. Relaxation helps the body and mind to calm. Physical and mental calmness contributes to improving mood, eases physical pain, and brings a sense of peace the person takes with them when they are finished. Massage helps to decrease stress, anxiety, and tension. It can also help increase restful sleep, and this contributes to improving energy levels.

An Integrated Care Approach

Often, the treatment of depression is not something that affects the person in one area of their mental, physical, and social being, but its’ effects are felt throughout them all. Depression treated with either medication, counseling, or massage therapy alone will be less effective than an approach that includes all three treatments.

One of the best approaches to treating depression is with an integrated care plan. Medication can be prescribed to address the depression and correct any brain chemistry imbalance. A mental health therapist can provide counseling to help increase coping skills and address any emotional issues adding to the person’s depression. A massage therapist can provide massages to help decrease tension, aches, and pains, and improve mental and physical calmness.