Depression is a common condition that a range of people can suffer from. Where everyone has days where they feel unhappy or fed up, this does not mean they are suffering from depression. Depression is an illness that causes a person’s mood, feelings or behaviour to continuously change often resulting in a negative impact on their social life, family and education. Depression has both physical and mental symptoms. Physical symptoms include;
- Poor sleeping patterns
- Loss of appetite
- Feelings of pain
Mental symptoms include;
- Lack of enthusiasm for things you usually enjoy doing
- Feeling very tearful
There is no specific cause of depression however the most common factors contributing to depression include; Bereavement, illness, stress, job or money worries or divorce.
How can massage help depression?
A massage at Massage.physio.co.uk can help treat those with depression in a wide variety of ways. The most common ways massage can help treat clinical depression include;
- Increase endorphins, serotonin and dopamine
- Reduced pain
- Relieve stress and anxiety
Increased endorphins, serotonin and dopamine
Endorphins, serotonin and dopamine are also known as positive hormones. Endorphins are responsible for decreasing anxiety and helping to reduce pain. Serotonin is useful for preventing or reducing feelings of depression or loneliness. Dopamine can help to increase enthusiasm and motivation whilst also reducing self-doubt. A massage promotes the release of these positive hormones by improving circulation. Releasing positive hormones can therefore contribute to a decrease in depression.
Pain is commonly seen in around 2 out of 3 people suffering from depression. Pain can come in different forms for example a person can experience, aching, shooting or sharp pains. Pain can further increase symptoms of depression and can give a lack of motivation and enthusiasm. A massage helps to relieve pain by reducing muscle tension, tightness and stress. Relieving tension, tightness and stress decreases pain and increases relaxation therefore reducing depression.
A study by Field, T et al (Ref 1) shows the positive effects massage can have on those going into labour. During pregnancy it is common for women to experience symptoms of depression and then during labour they will experience high levels of pain. The study shows those that took part experienced a decrease in depressed mood, anxiety and pain. They also had shorter labours and had less postpartum depression.
Relief of stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are some of the main factors contributing towards depression. Feelings of stress and anxiety can be increased through the release of negative hormones. The most common negative hormone found is cortisol. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone. Cortisol is released in response to feeling such as pain and can increase feelings of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. A massage helps to relieve stress and anxiety by decreasing the circulation of negative hormones and encouraging the release of positive hormones to take their place. Reducing cortisol and replacing it with positive hormones decrease stress and anxiety thus reducing depression. A study by Field, T et al (Ref 2) had positive results showing that those that took part had decreased anxiety, depression, fatigue, and confusion after receiving massage treatment, further proving the effects of massage for those suffering with depression.
Overall, a massage is proven to help treat depression. The benefits gained through massage include:
- Increased sense of well-being
- Improved sleeping
- Decreased aches and pains
- Increased relaxation
- An overall more happy and enthusiastic mood
How can I arrange a massage for depression?
You can also book an appointment onlineand save £10.
Ref 1- Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Taylor , S., Quintino, O., & Burman, I. (1997). Labor pain is reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 18, 286-291.
Ref 2-Field, T., Quintino, O., Henteleff, T., Wells-Keife, L. & Delvecchio-Feinberg, G. (1997). Job stress reduction therapies. Alternative Therapies, 3, 54-56.