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.


  1. Hm. I've never tried it. Maybe I should...

  2. Adam
    Give it a try! You won't regret it.

  3. The healing power of human touch is amazing. A soothing but deep tissue massage seems to release the "toxins" that make by body ache because of the depression/anxiety. Glad you found this terrific stress reliever!

  4. Anonymous,
    It definitely seems to help...I just have to remember to drink lots of water to flush out the toxins. Thanks for stopping by; please come back.

  5. My best days are after my massages. I've not been able to really write about it like so many others do.

    My current massage therapist is 100% on this track. She and I have discussed this at length.

    I've had appts where I don't tell her where I'm exactly at in this realm of depression/suicidal ideation ect ect. She can tell and her work is centered around this. I have found a GEM who truly is more than just a massage therapist.

    Jack - love your blog. Love following it and am so glad I came across it a while back.