October 25, 2011

Massage can help relieve depression

Don’t look now, but I’ve had at least three good days in a row. Somebody call Guiness.

I’m not sure who gets the credit. My talk therapist or my massage therapist?

I went into the spa a few days ago with heavy shoulders and a sore back. As those who suffer from depression know, it’s not just an in-your-head problem. Depression hurts. Physically.

As I always do, I emerged from the spa feeling like a bear that just awoke from hibernation—rested, rejuvenated and hungry…hungrier for life too.

While massage may not be a cure for depression or anxiety, it sure does help manage the symptoms. It’s expensive, yes. But can we put a price tag on our mental health?

While the science doesn’t suggest massage is a miracle cure for depression, there are studies like this one that show it sure helps. I always go in with heavy shoulders but come out feeling like a champ.

They say our thoughts control our feelings, but that’s easier said than done for many of us. I’ve found that when my body feels better, say from depression or exercise, it’s easier to tame the torturous negative thoughts that sometimes push me to the edge of sanity and bring on bouts of depression.

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve found massage to be helpful. If you’ve tried it and it didn’t help, I’d suggest a new massage therapist.

So give it a shot. Massage away that nagging anxiety—even if only for a little while.