Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

How Massage Can Lessen Depressive Symptoms

Also from James is this great post on massage. He explains how a massage can relieve some depressive symptoms. Poor James. He lives with a physical therapist who has good home/work boundaries. That sucks. Go to his original post by clicking here.

I’m married to a physical therapist, and she gives a great massage. The only problem is that she refuses to bring her work home.
Why do people love massage? Is it a physiological response or a psychological one? Is it both? Is it due to the fact that someone else is touching you? Absolutely. All of the above.
The literature shows that massage has a noticeable effect on the chemical balance in your body. It reduces the levels of stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine. These stress hormones can trigger depression in some people. It also releases serotonin (our favorite neurotransmitter) and endorphins (our built-in pain relievers). The physical effects include reduced muscle tension, improved circulation, a slower heart rate and increased joint mobility and flexibility. Not to mention the warmth of another person’s hands indulging your body.
It has been shown that two sessions a week reduces the rate of depression for women who have just given birth. In light of the chemical benefits to the body, these results probably apply across the spectrum of mood disorders. The cost of sessions may be expensive, but if it can make a difference to your health then it could be worth trying. If you have a partner perhaps you can learn together.

  • Larry Parker

    Isn’t that a real pic of James (which would make the masseuse his wife)?

  • james

    Unfortunately not, Larry. As Therese said, she keeps strong work / home boundaries. And a full head of hair is just a distant memory.

  • Margaret Balyeat

    Post script to your “I ,To, have A Dream message: I have a dream that one day insurance companies will recognize the theraputic effects of massage, extrapolate that underwriting those might decrease certain other (already covered) expenses such as therapy sessions and/or medications and thus include them as a covered treatment!

  • Lynne

    Sounds good in theory but I don’t like strangers touching me. Yeah probably yet another phobia…better lose the idea of accupuncture too. I don’t like being poked, prodded or punctured. Just call me Ms. Monk. (except I’m not brilliant just mildly obsessive) I do however notice little details and can think outside the box. Give me some duct tape and a chewing gum wrapper and watch out!

  • Eileen

    to Lynne….. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhahhhh lol your whole response was cute,, but more importantly,, it made me laugh,, which I hadnt been doing for a while now ….. Greeneyez (Eileen)

  • CLeo

    What type of massage? Often I drive by a place where a massage therapy clinic is located, the lower sign says “Pain management” and also some specific types of massages are listed. I’ve been tempted to stop in one day to get a massage, never got one, and to buy a gift cert. for my husband.

  • weatherplay1

    Massage Therapy is wonderful for the mind,body and soul.Close your eyes,relax your thoughts,breath openly and let your mind take you there.Touch is essential like holding hands on a cool Autumn day,explore ways to release fears and inhibitions that prohibits us from this life changing experience.

  • Deb Phillips

    I felt like Lynne…for about 10 seconds…and then I never wanted to get off that massage table!!!! I wish I could get a massage every week!! One of my doctors once told me that if I lived in a tropical climate and had a massage every day, that I probably wouldn’t need to have any prescriptions for pain meds anymore…and if I ever win the lottery I might just see if he’s right!!
    A word of caution however….I did go to one massage “therapist” who supposedly specialized in working with people with fibromyalgia….she hurt me so badly I was crying on the table during the entire “massage”…needless to say I never went back to her. I didn’t buy her story that a massage has to hurt in order to be effective. A massage given by a well trained person is HEAVENLY!!!
    And to Greeneyez…it’s good that you’re laughing….I was worried about you the other day….and I’m glad to see you posting here too!
    You know what? YOU should go get a massage!!!

  • Eileen

    To Deb ,,, I used to get massages, back in the day (I am 45 now) and I loved getting them… But I am not working at the moment and have no health insurance.. I go to my Docs office tomorrow to see if I can get on some type of anti-depressant to help me… I feel the Premarin that I am on since my surgery is not helping that much… I still go thru my moments every day but atleast know I will be here tomorrow to go to the Docs office and that in itself is a blessing to think I can focus on something in the future instead of hour by hour… Thanks Deb for your kindness…. I love this site and some others and it gives me some peace… Greeneyez (Eileen)

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