Some people experience mental health challenges at some point in their lives. Mental health in Canada continues to be a major crisis. Numerous surveys show that 1 in 5 Canadians will experience poor mental health in any given year.
Stress has become a huge factor on our mental health. Living in a fast-paced, busy world, stress has become a normal part of our daily lives—in the workplace, relationships, financial stress, and the list just goes on!
Getting a relaxing, therapeutic massage is a healthy way to help you deal with stress. While it is a general fact that massage offers amazing benefits for a wide range of physical health problems, various studies also prove that getting regular massage has remarkable effects on our mental health. Health professionals recommend getting full body massages on a regular basis as part of our mental health and wellness toolkit.
Benefits of Massage Therapy for Mental Health
Massage therapy is the manual manipulation of the body’s muscles and soft tissues, including the ligaments, tendons, and connective tissues to help improve the general health and well-being of a person. Registered massage therapists (RMTs) are knowledgeable in anatomy and physiology, and are highly-trained in different massage techniques to ensure health and wellness.
People experienced a positive impact on their psychological health even after a single massage. Studies proved that massage can help reduce the symptoms of mental health problems by 60% to 70% — more than a person who does not receive a massage.
Take note of the following research-backed mental health benefits of massage:
- Relieves Stress
Various studies show that regular massage therapy can significantly minimize physical and mental stress. Additionally, there is also a number of research that validates the training and skills of a registered massage therapist in reducing stress both physically and mentally.
- Alleviates Symptoms of Depression
Health experts have analyzed various clinical studies and backed up the benefits of massage therapy in relieving the symptoms of depression. However, massage therapy should not replace psychological treatment. Make sure to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist for professional help and advice.
- Improves Sleep
Quality sleep is an important factor for your mental health and wellness. Sleeping problems lead to various physical and mental problems. After spending hours in the office or doing household chores, getting a massage can help boost your blood flow, lower heart rate, and relax muscles, helping you get a good and restful night’s sleep.
People (including children) who suffer from insomnia, fibromyalgia, cerebral palsy, and migraines, have experienced improved sleep patterns after a relaxing massage therapy. Additional research also demonstrated that getting a 30-minute massage twice a week for 5 weeks have resulted in a significant relief in pain, which minimized sleep disturbance.
- Boosts Energy
Poor mental health can be draining and exhausting. The simple thought of getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult, let alone working with a clear head. Since massage promotes good blood circulation, it gives you a boost of energy and dispel the feelings of fatigue and lethargy.
- Improves Concentration
Massage therapy is perfect for people who find it hard to concentrate. Fatigue and tension at work can block your ability to focus on your tasks. A good massage helps release tension, allowing blood to flow and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This allows you to improve your focus and concentration without tension.
- Soothes Anxiety
If you are feeling anxious, then it is time to search the Internet for a “massage therapy near me in Waterloo” and book an appointment. Although the idea of laying on a massage table trapped with your own thoughts can make you feel anxious, massage lowers your cortisol levels (also known as the stress hormones) by up to 30%.
The buildup of cortisols in your body can cause anxiety running rampant throughout your nerves. Using soothing massage techniques helps release tension and increase your ability to combat the effects of stress in your mind and body.
- Calms the Mind
Booking an hour of a soothing and relaxing massage session is a great escape from your busy life routine, helping you reset your brain and take some deep breaths. Breaking away from all the office work or household chores provides you an opportunity to clear your thoughts and focus on yourself, so you can return to your tasks with a fresh mind and reenergized body.
- Increase Serotonin and Dopamine Levels
Although antidepressants can help increase the levels of serotonin (the “happy” hormone) in the brain, studies have also shown that depressed people who get a massage benefit a 30% increase in the levels of both serotonin and dopamine, giving them a natural mood boost.
- Promotes Feelings of Well-Being and Connection
Physical connection, such as touching, hugging, or bonding can help release oxytocin (also known as the “love hormone”) in the body, promoting deep feelings of comfort, ease, and well-being. The soothing touch of an RMT in Waterloo is another way to stimulate oxytocin in a safe and non-offensive way.
Types of Massage for Improved Mental Health
There are different types of massage therapy with unique purposes. For instance, deep tissue massage is used to ease chronic muscle pain and tension, while a sports massage helps prevent injuries by improving flexibility. However, the right types of massage techniques used to promote relaxation and better mental health are the following:
- Swedish massage
This massage therapy technique uses long strokes, kneading, tapping, and stretching to relieve tension and boost blood circulation throughout the body. Swedish massage is great for back pain.
- Shiatsu Massage
Unlike the Swedish massage, the Shiatsu massage technique applies rhythmic pressure using the fingers and thumbs on specific body parts, targeting acupressure points to increase the energy flow throughout the body.
- Hot Stone Massage
This unique massage technique involves warm stones that are placed on certain body parts to transfer heat deep inside to soothe and relax tired muscles.
With everything that is going on right now, there is no one-stop solution that can magically make you feel better. Learning to take things slow, focusing on yourself, and striking the right balance in life is a great start.
Booking a regular massage therapy can make a world of difference in your mental health and wellness. Call Fairway Chiropractic Centre today at (519) 748-5535 or fill out our contact form to send us a message.