Can Massage Therapy Treat Depression?

Woman having a massage
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Massage therapy is good for a lot of things: treating sore muscles, lowering blood pressure, curing headaches, and even improving blood circulation. But experts say that massage therapy is also good for one more thing: treating depression. Although massage therapy isn’t a cure for depression, it can alleviate some of the symptoms of this condition. A person who is depressed or feeling anxious has fearful thoughts. When they have these thoughts, their muscles often feel rigid or their whole body feels sluggish. When that person undergoes massage therapy with a licensed physical therapist, a masseuse, or even an Osaki massage chair, they can become so relaxed that any fearful thought they might have can go away.

Types of Massages

There are different kinds of massages with varying degrees of intensity. Some of them may be more effective than others in treating your depression, but all of them can help you relax.

Chair Massage

Unlike all the other massage therapies, this one doesn’t even require a person to apply the massage. All you have to do is to sit on a massage chair, and the mechanism inside it will knead your muscles until you’re relaxed.

Reflexology

This form of massage entails a massage therapist focusing only on specific areas of your body, particularly your hands and feet. According to reflexologists, when you massage certain nerve endings in your feet and hands, it can improve blood circulation, relax muscle pain all over your body, and improve the performance of other internal organs.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy sessionNot only will you get a massage with this therapy, but the whole experience will be doubly relaxing because of the scented candles burning in the background. Massage therapists believe that scents of certain candles can ease the tension in your body further. Aromatherapy is quite a popular form of massage therapy because it provides two methods of calming a customer’s body and mind.

Shiatsu

This form of massage therapy originated in Japan. It involves massaging certain areas of the body with a firm pressure from the therapist’s fingers, hands, palms, and even feet. Shiatsu also involves stretching and joint manipulation mobilization, which can look painful sometimes.

Shiatsu requires forceful kneading of the muscles and manipulation of the joints and even the spine from the therapist. It can look uncomfortable for people who haven’t undergone this kind of therapy. It can look painful since the masseuse will really knead your muscles forcefully with his fingers or palms, almost as if they’re trying to turn your muscles into putty. In reality, the effect of all those procedures is total relaxation of the muscles.

Deep tissue massage

This form of massage therapy involves kneading the muscles and connective tissue closest to your joints, which can be more painful. But the effect afterwards is very relaxing. The intense massage on your connective tissue can make you feel like you’re more limber.

Massage therapy may not be able to totally cure depression. But since it can relieve tension and relax your muscles, it is useful in alleviating the symptoms of depression. Despite not being the cure to depression, you can still use this therapy to minimize the severity of your depression long enough for you to go on about your daily routine. It can even help you sleep well.