How Massage Therapy Can Help Improve Mood and Fight Depression
Those who suffer from depression know just how debilitating the symptoms of depression can be. Getting out of bed in the morning is often a struggle in itself. Making it through the day can seem like an insurmountable task. While antidepressant drugs are an option for those who suffer from depression, some people prefer a more natural approach to managing the condition. Fortunately, for those who want to fight depression without prescription medication, massage therapy has a lot to offer.
The Science of Massage
We all know that massages are relaxing and feel good. That alone can help lift someone’s mood, but when depression hits hard, more than just a relaxing experience is often needed to overcome the change in mood. The good news is that the benefits of massage therapy go well beyond the relaxation experienced during the massage itself. This is where the science of the body comes into play and the benefits of massage can be reaped long after the massage itself is over.
When a person is under stress, the body tends to overproduce a hormone known as cortisol. Increased cortisol leads to decreased serotonin, which is a chemical naturally produced by the body. Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter and mood stabilizer. Decreased serotonin levels often result in depression. Regular sessions of massage therapy can decrease cortisol and increase serotonin, thereby alleviating depression and the symptoms associated with it. In fact, some studies have shown that massage therapy can decrease cortisol levels by up to 50 percent and increase the body’s dopamine as well as serotonin.
Battling Depression with Massage Therapy
If you are suffering from depression and do not like the idea of taking daily antidepressant medications, you may want to opt for massage therapy instead. Two sessions a week can significantly reduce the cortisol levels in your body and combat stress, depression, and anxiety.
There is no doubt that massage therapy is enjoyable and relaxing, but the long-term benefits of massage should not be overlooked. Talk to your massage therapist about your symptoms so he or she can tailor your massage to address your specific needs and help you battle depression naturally.