While massage therapy is undoubtedly good for your body, it is also incredibly beneficial for you mind and mental health. Studies have shown that massage can have a positive impact on anxiety and stress.
1. Relieving Physical Symptoms
Prolonged periods of stress often result in tense, sore muscles, particularly around the neck, shoulders and back. A targeted massage session can address these areas of pain and allow you to focus on mental healing without worrying about physical discomfort.
2. Reverse the Body's Anxiety Response
Massage can decrease the amount of the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol. This hormone is released during periods of stress and is part of the body’s anxiety response, or ‘fight or flight’. By decreasing the levels of cortisol, massage therapy can calm feelings of panic and worry.
3. Touch Therapy
Physical touch has been said to increase endorphins, the hormone that is linked to well-being. Massage of all kinds involves very deliberate physical contact which may alleviate feelings of anxiety, whilst also releasing tension from the muscles.
4. Mind and Body
The manipulation of muscles and joints can allow you to feel more in tune with your body and how it feels. Being present in the moment both physically and mentally can play a big part in meditation and mindfulness.
While massage therapy is not a ‘cure’ for mental health problems, it can be used alongside treatments from a doctor to address negative feelings of stress, as well as a ‘pick me up’ after a long week!