Depression: How Massage Therapy Can Assist

 

Massage Therapy does not cure woman watching a train pass by Depression, but there is strong evidence that massage therapy can be effective for reducing the negative impact on a person’s health that symptoms of depression can proliferate.

Depression defined

On their website, the Mayo Clinic defines Depression as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest” and goes on to say that this disorder “can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems”. Anyone who has experienced Depression or has seen it at work can attest to the accuracy of this generalized description. It is always recommended that, as a clinical diagnosis, a potential patient of Major Depressive Disorder be seen, evaluated, and diagnosed by an appropriate medical professional before adopting any treatment – with proper treatment, Depression is both preventable and recoverable.

How the AMTA says massage therapy helps

As of 2011, the American Massage Therapy Association (of which I am a 15-year member) states that “massage therapy can be effective in reducing the symptoms of depression” – a position and an opinion that many medical organizations, like the Mayo Clinic, the American Medical Association, and the National Institute of Health have been cited as supporting.

How other sources support that massage therapy helps

There are also some massage-therapy-professional and public-massage-advocate resources that feature and illustrate how massage therapy assists in alleviating the effects of some specific types of Depression. This is a very small sampling of the many online publications that address massage therapy for:

Postpartum Depression – MASSAGE Magazine

Depressed People (meta-analysis) – Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Breast Cancer – Prevention Magazine

Situational Depression – Massage Today

How I have seen that massage therapy helps

Any anecdotal information presented by individual practitioners and clients having experienced clinical Depression and that tout positive results are just the start of the body of common sense that supports massage therapy’s positive effects on the human body.

I have seen and worked with clients who have appeared depressed – if not recognized, it can go untreated, unaddressed, and eventually get worse. A person, as an organic being, without touch can wither like a flower without water. Massage Therapy can be the sunshine or the water for that person who needs fortifying, the very basics of emotional maturity and spiritual growth that have been proven, over and over again and when present, to make humans stronger, healthier, and happier…a better Quality of Life. I feel like the massage therapy I provide from time to time has helped people have more energy, increase self-value, sleep better, better posture through natural muscle-lengthening…and the list goes on.

Why “Massage Therapy for Depression”?

It’s Clean – It is a different method for the body to deal with stress: non-pharmaceutical methods of ‘treatment’ have become a preferred way – for patients and doctors, alike – to deal with life’s curve balls – drugs are becoming, more and more, a last resort for those in pain, so massage therapy is a good choice as a first attempt or clean attempt at addressing serious emotional and spiritual issues that can be resolved in a session or two of a touch therapy, like massage therapy. Even long-term use of massage therapy has been demonstrated to be good maintenance for sufferers of chronic depressive states. There are also considerably lower chances of becoming addicted to massage therapy as opposed to a pharmaceutical/biological interaction and chance of subsequent dependency on that drug for the body – I’m not saying it’s impossible to be addicted to massage therapy, but massage therapy’s effects on the body are of a shorter lifespan than those of drugs that may have after-treatment effects lasting for years.

Reconnection – If one is withdrawn as a side-effect of depression, a non-judgmental, compassionate touch – even once, during a massage therapy session of any length – can be a person’s reintroduction to the world; massage therapy can change perspectives of doubt and low self-esteem into confidence and higher self-worth and re-establish a unique sense of trust – to begin [again] with: between client and practitioner.

Reaffirmation of Goals – One may think that massage therapy is a luxury as opposed to being a necessity. When other options for one’s getting back on the horse [i.e. recovering from Depression] have been exhausted or deemed a last resort, massage therapy becomes a way to re-establish the value of one’s goals. Physically changing one’s outlook on life can be as simple as changing one’s posture – or using the assistive nature of massage therapy to help with that. Self-care is not a luxury in this case: I believe if one doesn’t take care of one’s self, one can’t help others, SO: getting a massage to make one’s self emotionally feel better is not a far stretch when one considers all the ways massage therapy can assist one in also physically ‘feeling better’ in order to get back to achieving goals one has in life.

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If a life event, news, or illness is leaving you unusually, deeply, irreconcilably, or incorrigibly depressed, leaving you absent, disabled, or unproductive, then you may be experiencing Clinical Depression – talk with your doctor about how massage therapy may be able to assist in keeping the symptoms of Depression fewer and/or less intense – many doctors know about how massage therapy can assist in reducing the effects of Depression and will be able to refer you to a massage therapist.

And, if they don’t: get them started by sharing this article with them. Mental health, like physical health, can be addressed and resolved with human touch modalities, like massage therapy.

 

Resources:

D avid J Otto, LMT BCTMB operates Hands In Motion in Las Vegas, Nevada, since 2003, assisting his clients achieve their wellness goals using massage therapy. He also volunteers with the AMTA’s Nevada Chapter and is the Director of Operations at Anatriptic Arts in Las Vegas. When he’s not working with his clients, you can find David running on the city streets, training for his next big race.

Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

Increase your vitality and reduce recovery time with massage therapy

How many times have you said “I wish I had time for a massage”?  I’ll bet about as many times as you’ve said “I wish I ate healthier” or “I wish I got more than 6 hours of sleep (or less!)”.  These statements all recognize that you “wish” you could add even just one element of healthy habit to your life that would make relieving physical and mental stress so much simpler.

I’m here to tell you: it is possible!  Here’s how – you know:

A healthy mind and body can make your day more productive: massage therapy can bring back or maintain an optimal range of motion to that chronic shoulder or hip injury site or repetitive motion, and it may help you do more of the things you want.  Depression because of pain and symptoms that keep you from being “your best” is known to be one of the biggest obstacles in the way of a productive day…or even, life.

Help yourself!  Negotiate that depression: Help your body facilitate healing with these benefits of a massage:

  • More restful sleep
  • Increased range of motion of joints and muscles
  • Decreased pain & increased physical stamina
  • More!

…and MAKE the time, even if just a couple of times a month, to improve your physical and mental quality of life!  Meet that deadline, run ALL those errands, and take care of your loved ones more often and with more energy…and regular massage!

Hands In MOTION is just that: a mobile massage therapy service that comes to you: your home, hotel, or office, to bring the convenience of healing facilitation without the stress of travel, high spa pricing, or complicated/risky product application.  Find a time that works for you, and get ready to Relax, Revitalize, and Rejuvenate!

TIP: pick a time of day for your massage when you are typically most alert – being alert is a sign that your energy is at its peak, and so are your mental and physical functionality.  Get your massage when you are at your strongest, not your weakest or most vulnerable.

Call or email David today for a free consultation and to Book Now! (702) 339-4325 Pre-paid package rates

Or, find a massage therapist where you are:

Yoga Today brings health improvement home

Touted as “Free Yoga Delivered Daily,” Yoga Today seems to be a very well-produced and refreshing method of foregoing the DVD cost and repetition of viewing the same guided yoga class over and over.

I happened across this illuminating and beautifully mesmerizing presentation in searching “Sedona” pictures on Google Maps for my upcoming roadtrip to Phoenix for the 2008 AMTA National Convention:  what a great sidetrack!

I hope you find the idea of a professional instructor appearing in your home for a different yoga class every day, located in some exotic and epically panoramic places (like Sedona, AZ, & Jackson, WY), inspiring and worth your time to consider including in your health and wellness program.  -Be Well,