Depression is an extremely common issue that affects people all over the world. An estimated 14.8 million Americans over the age of 18 suffer from some form of depression. There are many antidepressant medications on the market. However, more doctors are recognizing it is important to incorporate a whole body approach to treatment.
The New Face of Treatment
People struggling with depression endure both physical and emotional symptoms. Lethargy, sadness, and pain are just a few of these. Harvard Health Publications emphasize the importance of exercise. Psychology Today details what sort of diet is best to fight depression. Massage is the next method that is being widely explored. Increasingly, research suggests that it can have a real and significant impact on controlling these difficult symptoms.
How Massage Can Help
Recent research indicates that when a person undergoes massage treatment, it impacts the body’s biochemistry. The result is an alleviation of depression and anxiety symptoms. One study showed that massage lowered cortisol levels by 53%. Cortisol is a stress hormone and contributes heavily in cases of depression. Additionally, massage therapy increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine in people. These neurotransmitters help the body maintain a good and balanced mood.
In addition to scientific studies regarding hormone balance, the emotional impact of massage is also being examined. Many practitioners and patients find that by releasing physical tension, there is a corresponding release in emotional tension. In some cases, the human contact in massage lessens an individual’s sense of isolation. This can go a long way toward fighting depression.
For many people, a massage session provides a safe and nurturing place to find a sense of balance. The combination of a relaxing environment, human contact, and biochemical impact are helping many people reduce their depression and anxiety symptoms every year. With evidence to back this treatment, it is likely to become even more widely utilized in the coming years.